"Repetitive" Offense the Main Reason for Girls Basketball Struggles
By Karen Ronka, Junior Writer
Photography by Bacilio Bencosme
By losing to Scholars Academy School on Janaury 15, the Hillcrest Girls Basketball Team dropped to a record of two wins and ten losses. While the season has been a struggle for the team, working as a team has caused a few struggles which only makes these girl’s strive to work harder.
In the Lady Hawks’ very first game of the season, the score was close as John Adams won, scoring 33 points to Hillcrest’s 28 points. The second game was a victory for Hillcrest’s Lady Hawks, scoring 46 points outweighing Martin Van Buren; who scored a total of 40 points. After this game, the Lady Hawks went on a season-long slide as they lost 9 of 10 games. They suffered defeat in games against Bayside High School, Queens High School of Teaching, Thomas Edison, and Forest Hills. It wasn’t until Hillcrest defeated Van Buren again 43-40 that the team gained a victory.
The Lady Hawks may not have been winning as many games as they would relish, but as a team, they surely do enjoy working together. “Everybody on the team is like family, as everyone gets along with one another. It is easier to play together as a team and have fun doing what we do,” said Nadjhe Grant, one of Lady Hawks’ three head captains. “Winning or losing, it won’t stop us from staying competitive, hardworking, and dedicated,” speculated the Lady Hawks’ Shaquana Vaughan. Working together and making sure no team member feels left out or unequal was definitely an achievement for the girls on the Lady Hawks team.
With two games still remaining, the Lady Hawks weren’t able to reach the playoff games finishing 7th in the Queens A East Division. “As a team, we could improve our communication skills on the court, which results in easy turnovers,” said Shaquana Vaughan, one of the team’s players.
During the season, Grant, the head captain, scored a total of 28 points while other players such as Vaughan scored a total of 19 points. Sameera Ahmed, one of the other head captains averaged nearly 5 points a game. Nicole Chavez led the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game while grabbing 4.75 rebounds per game. Fatoumata Coulibaly led the team with 9.9 rebounds per game.
The team is struggling to score points, and members of the team are pointing to a vanilla offense and lack of execution from players. Certain members do not entirely agree with the offense that their head coach, Mr. Strong, is running but know they aren’t playing their best. “I feel like the strategies that our coach tells us to perform actually do work and helps us score points, but at the end of the day, continuing to do the same play over and over again becomes repetitive and quite easy to predict.. but it honestly all comes down to how we execute those certain plays,” said one player.
What has occurred during this season for the Lady Hawks only made them want to do better for themselves, but also superior as a team. “Our team, although we didn’t have the best season this year, worked hard and played our best. No one can have great seasons every year, and this happened to be the year it did not go so well, but in the end we are winners. We’ve grown on each other in a way and became close throughout the course of the season. We depend on one another overall. We are a team,” said Nadjhe.
The Girls finish the season against Thomas Edison on February 3rd and Forest Hills on February 5th at the Hillcrest Gym.