Inexperience challenges the girls basketball team


Sunni D’Angelo

The varsity girls team gathers at a team member’s house for a pasta dinner near the end of the season.

Taylor Arth, Staff Writer

The varsity girls basketball team, who plays Walsh Jesuit tonight in Sectionals, has had to overcome the loss of seven players from last year’s roster, including three starters.

Head coach Cullen Harris admires the hard work the team put in this regular season, despite being inexperienced. Harris said, “Coming into the year we had only three girls with varsity experience but we have hard-working kids. Each day I saw us getting past those things and growing beyond our limitations.”

Navroop Buttar, one of the two returning starters, called this team one of her favorite teams ever. She said, “This season has been different from previous years because we actually get along with each other. We like to spend time with each other off the court which helps us on the court.”

Four-year player Lauren Schimidt enjoyed the great team dynamic. Schmidt said, “We work together a lot better this year and we are a lot closer, the team bonding made us a stronger group.”

Harris believes struggles are not always negative, and they can be a chance to grow. He said, “That inexperience was one of our biggest struggles, but it was not a lack of ability, talent or effort. It was just one of those things that comes with time.”

Buttar knows it took the team a little while to adjust with younger players and obstacles but everyone worked together. Buttar said, “Losing one of our best players (Gabby Moore), I feel discouraged us in a way. We dwelled on it for a day or two, but we didn’t let it get to us and we kept practicing.”

Along those lines, Harris believes experience is the best teacher. He said, “I mean that in the sense of you don’t quite know what it takes to compete at the varsity level. It’s not for lack of want or effort, you just have never been through it, those inexperienced take time to get over.”

Schmidt also thinks the biggest struggle was how young the team was. She said, “Towards the middle of the season, we sort of got into a funk where we just kept losing games. I think that was the hardest thing to overcome and then we overcame it with a big win against Chardon.”

Although there were rough times, Schmidt says the team stuck together and believes the dynamic of this team is the best she’s seen. She said, “My favorite part of the season was teamsgiving because that’s when we realized we had a really good team bond and that helped us have a great season.”

Being a good teammate is arguably the most important part of sports, as Harris preaches sportsmanship to his players. He said, “You won’t remember the wins and loses, you won’t remember how many points you score, but you will remember your teammates and how your teammates made you feel.”

Looking ahead to next year, Harris knows the kids coming back are the ones who want to be coached and put the work in. “We have a great group of kids who have great leadership skills and people want to be around them.”

Buttar sees the off-season as an opportunity for the team to work together. Buttar said, “I feel like the off season will bring a lot of positive things for our program because now we know our team gets along and spending more time together will help us work harder and bring us even closer together.”

Harris will use the off-season to break down the limitations for this team. Harris said, “Looking at what we are going to continue to work on in this off season are those basketball limitations, ball handling, rebounding, those sort of things. I know that group of kids will be back continuing to put the time, energy and effort in.”