Preview of the Girls’ Basketball season

Mariella Haubner and Emma Stadolnik

The girls basketball season officially kicks off with the first game away against Antioch tonight. The team has set high stakes for the season, and the next few months will test their strength.

The team will return nine varsity players from last year’s winning season. This includes sophomores Lauren Richards and Megan Rockelin, Juniors Sarah Constantine and Maddie Williams (Captain), and seniors Bella Ranallo (Captain), Rachel Kaus (Captain), Aliya Maldonado, Anne Perry, and Vivi Gramza. 

With last year’s record of 19-14, the Scouts are returning a lot of young talent and a large senior class that will certainly provide leadership.

Joining the returners include some new faces: senior Anna Marquis, juniors Adah Bodine, Lizzie Legrand, Lizzy Flynn, and freshman Charlie Axus.

Last year’s Scouts finished 7-7 in conference play, something they are looking forward to improving upon this upcoming season. 

The North Suburban conference is one of the most competitive conferences in the state, led by last year’s 4A State Champion: Stevenson High School. However, the Scouts have confidence in their team this year.  

“I think we could definitely win the conference and make a far state run this year,” said junior guard Sarah Constantine.

Some of the most anticipated games this year are the games against familiar foes Stevenson and Libertyville, who took first and second in conference last year, respectively. 

Senior captains Rachel Kaus (committed to play women’s basketball at Cornell University) and Bella Ranallo both play vital roles in ensuring the teams success in conference, and beyond, this year. 

“I think we’ll be ranked pretty highly in conference, with the help of Rachel and Bella,” said senior Anne Perry. “We have a lot of great players but Bella and Rachel are two seniors that stand out.” 

Multiple members of the team express that the team’s strength is their chemistry. This is a result of countless hours spent together both on and off the court. During the season, the team spends about three hours together per day at practices or games. 

Beyond this, the team will get food together after practice, and can be found spending every moment of the weekends together as well. Getting together post practice and on the weekends has greatly added to the team’s chemistry.

“We really are like a little family, and I think that, especially this season, that will be a big advantage. We all push each other to get better,” said Junior Captain Maddie Williams.

Part of this special bond comes from the intense amount of work put in during the offseason. During the summer, the team participates in a summer league competing against local teams. 

According to Willams, this is a “low pressure” league that allows teams to build chemistry on the court and gets them “hyped” for the upcoming season. 

In addition to this, the team attends the University of Wisconsin camp together in June. This is a high-stakes camp with intense competition, allowing the team to improve their skills together before the start of the season.

he team at the UW-Madison team camp this past June (Photo Courtesy of Sarah Constantine)

Beyond winning conference, the team expresses their desire to make a far run in the state tournament. Last year, the Scouts season ended too early in a Regional Championship double overtime loss to St. Viator. The desire for revenge as well as sending the six seniors off on a high note provides great motivation for a state run this year.

“As it is my last season here at the high school, I want to make a state run more than ever before,” said Senior Captain Bella Ranallo.

In order to accomplish these goals, the Scouts must capitalize on their pre-existing strong offense, while putting an emphasis on defense and rebounding the ball.

“I think this year we will be a good team of shooters and we will be tough to beat,” said sophomore Lauren Richards.

The team has been working hard in the first two weeks of practice to accomplish these goals. 

“We work really hard together as a team, and we all know that the reason we are here is to win,” said Williams.

The girls will kick off their season off at an away game Monday Nov. 14th, at 4:30 against Antioch at Vernon Hills High School. They have another game this week Wednesday vs. Lake Forest Academy at 4:30 at Vernon Hills High School