Young talent carries girls’ basketball team forward

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By Akshita Joshi, Staff Reporter Video by Reese Wang, Co-Editor-in-Chief With altered dynamics, added talent and strong leadership the girls’ basketball team has excelled this season, with a current 8-2 record. The team is propelling forward in hopes of winning the central league game, and have done everything in order to achieve this goal so...

By Akshita Joshi, Staff Reporter

Video by Reese Wang, Co-Editor-in-Chief

With altered dynamics, added talent and strong leadership the girls’ basketball team has excelled this season, with a current 8-2 record. The team is propelling forward in hopes of winning the central league game, and have done everything in order to achieve this goal so far.

Senior Katie Faith is leading the girls as one of the captains and seasoned players this year. Faith started her basketball journeys in elementary school playing for the Paoli Wildcats team. 

“Basketball has always been in my family,” Faith said “My mom and grandpa played, so I started early in fourth grade, and ever since then I’ve just loved it. Now being captain, for me it’s not just about the sport, it’s about keeping that structure but also being someone the team can come to for other advice or just how to run a play.”

However, Faith isn’t the only one with extensive basketball experience. Sophomore Marisa Francione has been playing since second grade and is adding further development to the team as an underclassmen. This season, she secured the win against Haverford by scoring the winning shot in triple overtime with one second left on the clock. Along with this triumph, she helped greatly in the team’s victory against Lower Merion earlier in the season.

“Last year we lost against Lower Merion to end our season, so this year we made sure not to lose to them,” Francione said. “On the court, I kept thinking of last year and had 20 points that game which I think helped really secure the win that day.”

Along with Francione, freshman Janie Preston displays fresh talent on the team this year throughout the season. Along with being the tallest member and only freshman on the varsity team, she carries skills that have taken the team one step forward. Captain Kate Galica expresses her feelings towards Janie’s addition to the team this year.

“Experience is huge in a team sport in high school and having talented freshmen definitely is a plus because it adds to that experience,” Galica said. “Janie is a great player because not only is she tall  — which varies our team more since our team has been short in basketball terms for many years — she also is very easy to coach and is just so willing to learn that she picks up on all the plays so easily.”

Despite the skill Preston has displayed on the court this year, switching from middle to high school athletics poses its challenges. However, coach AJ Thompson describes Preston’s experience with adjusting. 

“Every freshman that comes into varsity their first year has it very difficult and Janie didn’t get to play her last year in middle school because of COVID. So for her to come in and step in as the only freshman on the team with big plays and big minutes, she’s done a nice job and been a big help for us,” Thompson said.

Along with the added talent, changes from last year bridge greater progress this year for the team. Thompson feels that the dynamic shift from last year has had a positive impact this season which he hopes to see the effects of till the end of this season to end strong.

“When we were dealing with COVID last year, we had to keep our JV and varsity team separated, but I usually like to keep them together. Even though it’s a little easier to practice separately, it doesn’t build a program. The younger girls don’t get a chance to get to know the older girls,” Thompson said. “But this year that has been better since we’ve had practices together which has made the team stronger altogether and we hope to carry that forward until the Central League match.”


Akshita Joshi can be reached at [email protected]

Reese Wang can be reached at [email protected]

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