Girls Varsity Basketball Looks to a Bright Future


Mahmood Almadeh ’20

Patricia Hewitt ’20 has been a role model for the younger players on the team throughout the year.

This season, the Girls Varsity Basketball team has transformed into a force to be reckoned with in the Founders League. The girls have surprised competitors with their resilience and cohesiveness, as well as their improved skills. With a roster very similar to last year’s, new Head Coach Mike Hickey, instructor in physics, has reinvigorated the girls’ spirit, creating a powerful team with a promising future.
Even in its losses, the team has demonstrated significant improvement over the last year. The team’s success, which it credits to its new mindset, has allowed it to rise to face the difficult competition in their league and be competitive with teams that had consistently been a cut above before.
Although the girls lost to NEPSAC Class A powerhouse Deerfield Academy, they showed improvement in the game, giving up 41 points in the first half, and only 17 points in the second. Returning guard Jordan Harrison ’22 said, “This year, teams who we played last year really see that we’re a different team: our mindset’s different, we’re winning games, and we’re only losing games by ten points which would have not been the case last year.”
One highlight of the season was the girls’ big win against Berkshire at home. The team had not beaten Berkshire in over three years, and last year, Berkshire beat them 72-39.
Despite what seemed like an impossible comeback, the girls patiently waited for an opportunity to start scoring, finally rallying in the final four minutes to score 17 points and finish 43-40. The girls fed off the energy of the crowd to turn their excitement into success. Co-captain Delaney Hayes ’20 said, “I was really proud of our team. It was a close game, and it really was one of the teams we probably shouldn’t have beat, [but] we beat them this year, which was great.”
Coach Hickey’s strategic mind and love for the game as well as the team has helped the girls reach their full potential. Harrison and Hayes both noted that the girls want to work hard for Coach Hickey and that he inspires the team to do their best.
With a team with mostly returners, the change in coaches has brought a new energy and hope to the team. Hayes said, “[Coach Hickey] tries to make every drill very game-like, which is super important. Having more options to run against any defense that we’re facing is definitely something that he’s tried to focus on and put into practice every day.”
While the experienced roster has benefitted the team this year, the team is graduating six Seniors this spring, leaving the team with some uncertainty for next season.
However, Coach Hickey has been hard at work building a promising team for next year.
Hickey hopes that, with a few exceptional players, he can put the school on the map as a promising girl’s prep school basketball program, encouraging other athletes to want to join the program. The possibility of being the key person to contribute to a program around will incentivize girls who want to join a team that’s small in number but scrappy in playstyle. Hickey said, “I think there are girls out there who are outstanding students, [who have] outstanding characteristics, and are outstanding players, and if the world is literally from where we can draw, I don’t see any reason why we can’t get those kids to come play here.”
The girls have one final game at home against Taft this Saturday, February 29. Last year, Taft defeated the team 30-53 and 32-69, but this year, the girls have already beaten Taft once, 53-35.
The team will play in Fowle this Saturday, February 29th for the last time against their biggest rivals, hoping to repeat their previous victory and finish the season at .500.