The 2018 Division II girls basketball champions are not done yet at Hollis Brookline, and are looking for another banner to hang on the wall next year. The team has a diligent plan to defend their state title. The team is only losing one senior, and looks to get stronger.
The girls have incoming sophomores for next year and four returning juniors that will soon be seniors, and they must work hard after losing Joanna Balsamo ‘18. “Next year we plan on picking up where we left off. We were on an upward trend throughout the playoffs and we’re going to keep that up,” said Brodie Kelley ‘19.
Although the success of the team is shown through wins, there is no doubt that their success does not come without provocation. Throughout the years, it has been noticed that all rival teams target winning teams.“I think one of the most difficult things we had to deal with this season was the low numbers. We had a very small varsity team of 8 girls and 3 JV players that swung up. Because of this, it was really hard to scrimmage 5-5 in practice or run some drills,” said Kelley. Even though the team had some minor setbacks, they managed to work with what they had, and made the most out of a difficult situation.
Expectations are high for the team going into their 2018-2019 season. Thankfully, the girls are not letting the pressure get to them. “…if we try our hardest and leave it all on the court and don’t make it, I will be okay with that too. I think our biggest obstacle was to not get in our heads too much about losing last season and not wanting a repeat of that,” said Elizabeth Atkinson ‘19. This team has many young players who are more than willing to improve their skills and are capable of doing so.
Not only should the girls plan for their success next season, but their coach, Bob Murphy, also has to come up with a plan for another successful season. “I must try to make sure all of our returning players do return. We will need to somehow replace the all-round game of Joanna Balsamo,” said Murphy. The limited amount of players on the team was the team’s biggest obstacle to overcome. “…everyone staying healthy was a big key,” said Murphy. They did not let that stop them.
With high stakes, the girls are ready to get down to business for next season. High hopes are in for the team, and it is exciting to see what next season holds for the team. Let’s get another banner up on the wall!