Women’s basketball team loses players; coach remains optimistic

By Marty Carlino

The women’s basketball team was faced with some tough situations throughout the year as a number of players decided to quit the team. When asked about the reasons behind the girls’ decision to leave, Head Coach Gabryella Johnson said: “We had players decide that this was not the right situation for them and as a team that is looking to progress we aren’t going to dwell on that. It is important to take the players who are here and make the most of that.”IMG_4284

Despite a disappointing season, Johnson has a positive outlook for the next season. Johnson said: “I believe that next year will be a year where we take a huge step as a program and as individuals and I am really excited for everyone to see the growth that I saw at the end of the season.”

The departure of some of the girls from the team paved the way for the continued progression of the remaining players on the team. Freshman forward Jasmyn Hardin closed the season with some of her best play by compiling back-to-back games of 18 points to finish off the season. Hardin said: “The beginning of the season was definitely rough but as the year went on we began to gel more as a team. Hopefully next year we will have a deeper roster and we can continue to grow as a team and improve our record.”

Hardin is one of the returning players that have Johnson excited about the next season. Johnson said: “I believe that we have the best core coming back that we have had in a few years and we will add some new pieces that will complement our returners’ skill set.”

The Stars began to play their best game toward the end of the season with some closely contested games against some of the top teams in the NACC conference. Toward the conclusion of the season, they competed in a tight game against conference frontrunner Concordia University Wisconsin.IMG_4280

​ Johnson said: “We competed until the very end with a team that has been towards the top of the conference every year. That was a huge step for our program. Our players now know that they can compete with some of the best teams in the conference. We played some of our best basketball at the end of the season, and that is what I hope our players remember while they are preparing for next season.”