A core of sophomores will lead this year’s girls basketball team, and with their new game plan they are feeling confident for the Lady Saxon Tournament in Schaumburg Nov. 18 through 28.
“I’m expecting us to perform well in this Thanksgiving tournament. We played in a fall league and made it to the championship, which doesn’t mean much, but the success early on will only help us.,” said coach Elliot Whitefield. “There is not a team playing in this tournament that we can’t beat if we come out and play like we are capable of.”
In previous years, the Kits have opened their season with the Deerfield tournament. This year, they are looking for stiffer competition that will really test them as a team. During the regular season last year, the Kits never faced Rockford, Schaumburg, or Wheaton-Warrenville South.
“Coach Whitefield has changed the game plan for this year. We’re focusing a lot more on conditioning, so we run plenty of ladders and doing a lot more agility and footwork skills,” said Erika Carter, senior. “We’ve also been doing a lot more defensive work and team bonding. Ultimately, we want to be more aggressive and make sure we’re quicker and more conditioned than other teams.”
The Kits fell to Stevenson in the first game of the tournament with a score of 32-44. After holding a lead through three quarters, they went scoreless in the fourth quarter, which sealed the loss. On top of that, the Wildkits sent Stevenson to the free-throw line 36 times. The first game indicated many areas for improvement across all aspects of the team.
“I really want to work hard on my defense. I am focusing on being more of a leader and giving it 100 percent all the time,” said Savannah Norfleet, sophomore, who is a new addition to the team this year. “Getting in shape now will help me and my teammates incredibly during the season. We have to be prepared for what’s ahead.”
One of the team’s toughest challengers in the Schaumburg Tournament will be Wheaton-Warrenville South, who has made it far in the playoffs the past couple of years.
“We have been practicing really hard and working to our best ability to make sure our offense and defense are both really strong,” said Helen Enghauser, junior. “We need to make sure that we are consistent and putting forth our best effort 100% of the time.”
After this tournament, the girls will look to start their conference games strong and get on track to outdo the successes of last year’s team.