Girls MS basketball teams gain experience
The Northwestern varsity girls' basketball team is a young squad. Head coach Chris Deutsch started two sophomores and two juniors this past season. That youthful varsity lineup has a trickle-down effect on all the lower-level teams in the program.
The junior varsity squad has a lot of girls that see action in both games on a given night and the junior high team's roster is nearly half eighth graders.
That left the middle school program, which cannot pull from anyone younger than seventh grade, with only five eighth graders this past winter.
"That kind of puts as at a disadvantage," said head coach Nate Hunsicker. "Some of the competition doesn't have a junior high team, so they are playing with a full deck where as we are missing some key pieces that would have been nice to have out on the floor."
Despite having to sacrifice for the greater good of the program, Hunsicker, who finished his second year on the job, piloted his A team to a 6-7 record while the B team finished with an astounding 11-1 mark.
"I thought it went really well," he said of this past winter. "Our girls did really well. Our goal [for the A team] from the beginning was to finish above .500 and we had the chance to do that. A little bit better play here or there, we would have been able to achieve, if not exceed, that goal."
The A team that saw several seventh graders start, due to the low amount of eighth graders on the team, was led by seventh grader Sage Christopher, who finished the season as the team's leading scorer and rebounder.
Along with her on the A team were Mary Johnson, Kate Musselman, Sarah Sekarak, Katie Smith, Alyssa Zack, Claudia Day and Chrissy Shah.
The B team consisted of Kayla Mitman, Morgan Ritchie, Violet Shane, Jovina Fager, Kayla Leibensperger, Cassidy Wampole, Bella Wessner and Maggie Motolese.
The youth and inexperience of this winter will bring knowledgeable basketball players next season for Hunsicker, who teaches at the middle school.
"We just want to build on the success we had this year," he said. "With the roster we had this year, we didn't have a lot of experience. The girls never really played organized, team sports before.
"The first few weeks left us with some work to do. The year we had this year, with these girls, has put us in the right direction and hopefully will springboard us into next season."