Girls basketball set to kick off season

Eli Cohen and Adrian Wilburn

With the season set to start at the annual Schaumburg tournament from Nov. 13-23, girls basketball will compete with some of the top teams in the area.

“It’s a really good test for us because there are really good teams there,” head coach Brittany Johnson said. “This year Maine West is in that tournament and they went down state last year.”
Senior SyAnn Holmes, who will be a top option for this year’s team, feels the Kits are prepared heading into the season.

“We’ve been in the weight room lifting and doing a lot of conditioning,” Holmes said. “We also have open gyms where we work on specific skills and push each other to be better so we can have our best season possible.”

The Kits will also be participating in two additional tournaments this season as they will play in the Winter Blast Shootout in Indiana and the Montini Holiday Tournament. These tournaments will provide the Kits with tough competition from across the Midwest, roviding them with good experience.

“The Montini Christmas tournament is the best tournament in the state,” Johnson said. “Almost every team in the tournament is ranked and has a winning record. This year is probably the toughest schedule we’ve had.”

The Wildkits have returning talent, as well as some new blood. Freshman Lola Lesmond, who was regarded as a top prospect while playing in France, is joining the team. Returning starters include juniors Kayla Henning and Ambrea Gentle, who were both all-conference players as sophomores.

“Lola [Lesmond] has the potential to have a great impact on our season,” Johnson said. She has a lot to learn because she’s only a freshman, but she has shown a great work ethic and a willingness to want to learn our system and how we do things.”

This season’s team will be relying on a core group of returning seniors. Two starters and four total players graduated from last year’s team. With a healthy mix of new and returning players, ETHS will attempt to improve on last year’s solid 20-9 season.

“The younger players on the team really look up to us, and we help the younger players stay positive through the season,” Holmes said. “If someone makes a mistake it’s really easy to get down on yourself but we help to keep a positive mindset.”

The sky is the limit for this talented group of players, but they will have to play together effectively if they want to find success in the upcoming season. They will kick off the Schaumburg tournament against Wheaton-Warrenville South, who finished last season with a 27-4 record.