The resiliency of this year’s JV girls basketball team is obvious after just one peek at their roster, which consists of only six girls.
The lack of girl basketball players is an oddity. 3rd year player Amrita J. ’21 cites it as the biggest difference between this season and years past. Currently they only have 6 players, and one has a concussion. Last year’s team of thirteen only returned three girls. They’ve managed to scrape by and manage conflicts with the help of varsity players swinging down, and as Amrita told me, “every single game I’ve needed to play the whole time.” Her statement was echoed by many of her teammates.
Another issue with having a thin bench is trouble down the stretch. Amrita continued that, “even if we are winning in the beginning, tiredness really works against us in the second half.”
Limited girls has had other effects on the program. Logistally, Eli C reported that “we have so few people that we practice with the boys.” As far as in game issues, subs are short and “one time Tiffany fouled out, and we were left with only four players left on the court.” Luckily, “the other team was nice enough to also play with four players.”
It’s easy to focus on the loss of so many players, but I also spoke with Olivia F, one of the few newcomers this year. Her decision to play basketball was straight forward: “I played in 7th grade and I missed [not playing]. A substantial amount of my soccer teammates were doing it, so I wanted to try basketball out again and just have fun.”
Olivia’s experience so far on the team has validated her decision to join. “We always have a ton of fun at practice, and we know how to run our plays.”
While most years numbers aren’t an issue, the team reported that historically attendance has been unreliable. However, in a year where players are in short supply, the team’s resilience has shined. “[Low numbers] makes basketball more of a commitment because I know if I don’t show up, we’ll have a starting team and no subs. That makes it harder to balance everything with soccer, school, and SRP, but it’s important to my teammates I do my best to be there,” Olivia reported.
Eli also spoke on a positive aspect of having a short roster. “Last year the team was super big, but this season it’s such a small group that it’s easy to form connections and bonds with each other.”
But numbers are far from the whole picture. A constant among every interviewer was the amount of fun they have with their teammates. According to Eli, “we’re a very loud group of people, which translates well on the court.”
Their vocal nature manifests itself in different ways. The team was happy to share that “we swear when we miss shots, or pass it to the other team on accident, or miss a freethrow, or don’t catch the ball.”
While so far the squad is 0-4, the tides are bound the turn soon. “We don’t lose by a lot,” Eli explained “we usually lose by like 4s.”
This years’ group has gone through a lot, and has hung with every team they played. I couldn’t sum it up better than they did: “There are only six of us. We’re grinding.”