Girls basketball makes anticipated return

By Frankie Rizzo, Sports Editor

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After a finishing last season with a record of 15-9 and a second place finish in the SEC Colonial Conference, the West Essex Girls Basketball Knights are looking to rebound and return back into championship contention. This year’s team is led by senior captains Emily Torchia, Kayla Bowie, Sabrina Krasner and Olivia Hansson.

The team graduated two key players from last season, but that will not stop the captains and the rest of the team from performing their absolute best.

“We lost two strong starters last year, but have a tremendous amount of power this season from the freshmen up to seniors,” Krasner said. “As long as we all do what we have to do, follow the game plan, everything will move smoothly and we will have a successful season.”

Coach Maria Cirello said that in order for the team to have a great season, they will need to stress on teamwork and cohesiveness. Obtaining these skills will bring the team a long way into having a victorious season.

“This year’s team is going to have to really play as a unit- which is something we lacked at times last year,” Coach Cirello said. “So far, the girls seem very focused and have been bringing a great level of energy to practice.”

Playing as a well-oiled machine starts from the top, so the captains have looked to make their mark on the less-experienced players of the team. The captains want to enforce teamwork and hard work among the younger athletes.

“We have a lot of new freshmen this year and spots open on varsity from last year’s seniors so it is going to take some work before we are all comfortable playing together,” Hansson said. I sometimes stay after practice to help my teammates with any specific skill work or drills that they want to work on.”

When games start to roll around, leadership from all the seniors will be key, from teaching new skills to motivating their teammates. All of this plays effect in the team’s chemistry on and off the court.

“Motivating the team is a significant component to being a leader and will benefit the team in every circumstance,” Torchia said. “No matter our skill level a teams connection is what shows on the court and I feel it is my job to bring the team to that point.”

Opening night is Dec. 14, when the girls play Caldwell at home. The team will look to be champions but will need to do so with a roster full of young contributors. Their hard work will hopefully contribute to their success in this game.