by Malec Fahmy ‘20
After posting one of their best regular seasons in years, the girls basketball team suffered a disappointing loss 50-48 to Blair in the second round of the playoffs last season. With a bitter end to what was a great 2018-2019 season, in which girls basketball finished with a regular season record of 18-4, this year’s squad looks to be even better. Following last year’s second round loss to Blair, Coach Tim Hobbs previously told The Warrior, “We should be in a great position to win every time we step on the court [next season].”
The girls have opened up the season with a 6-2 record, with their two tight losses coming on the road against Whitman on December 20 by a score of 47-43 and a 56-52 loss to Paint Branch on January 10. The Warriors won their five games so far this season by comfortable margins, including 71-58 victory at home against Blair on January 8.
“[So far this season] I think we have been playing well, but there is always room for improvement,” said junior Alexis Nnabue. “As we start to play better teams, we need to learn how to finish a team when it comes down to the wire.”
The varsity girls are led by its senior leadership, headlined by captains Cristi Mathis and Hannah St. Laurent. Both look to use their veteran experience early in the season, hoping to build upon a team that developed great chemistry last season. So far this season, the girls have stepped up to the challenge and have dominated opponents at times. In their first game of the season, the girls routed Einstein 65-30. The team was missing sophomore Angela Nnabue, who was waiting to be cleared from an ACL tear. In her absence, her sister Alexis led the team scoring 14 points, followed by sophomore Chase Bell with 10 points.
Coming off a three-game win streak to start the season, the team suffered the loss to Whitman. “We needed the loss to show we weren’t invincible and to boost us up as well to show that if we keep making mistakes things won’t go our way,” said senior guard Nana Kwaygan “Over break we worked on free throws and layups,” Kwaygan added.
Coming out of winter break, the girls had their first game on January 3 against Kennedy. Holding Kennedy to a scoreless first quarter, the Warriors dismantled Kennedy 54-13. The team was excellent on the defensive side of the ball, allowing no more than five points in any quarter.
Five days later, the team played a then undefeated Blair team on January 8. The Trail-Blazers were handed their first loss of the season in dominating fashion. The girls stepped up in this contest, defeating Blair by a score of 71-58. The team was led by Bell who scored 18 points. In addition, St. Laurent and Alexis Nnabue each scored 14 to help carry the squad to another win.
Following this big win, the girls traveled to their rivals Paint Branch, where they suffered their second loss of the season. In the four-point loss to Paint Branch, the team got off to a slow start in the first quarter. Despite a run to start off the third quarter in which the girls took a double digit-point lead, a mixture of bad calls from the referees and poorly executed defense ultimately resulted in the final score loss.
Following the gut-wrenching loss to Paint Branch, the girls blew out Damascus in January 13 by more than thirty points. Led by senior Melanie James with 21 points, Alexis and Angela Nnabue also both added 11 points respectively. The girls started off slow once again, but once the second quarter started, took off.
“If we continue to keep up the intensity in practice and work hard in games, our season will look to be very promising,” said St. Laurent.