AT’s girls basketball team has had an excellent start to its season. With a record of 4-1 in the conference, these athletes are preparing for their next game against conference rivals Downers Grove South, where they hope to tie for first place in the conference.
Senior Mia Johnson described the team’s success, and how she feels they’ve been doing.
“The team has been extremely competitive and pushing away to win a lot of our games. We have been connecting very well defensively and at the end of the day, defense wins games,” she said.
Through their success, they have also faced many challenges, as all teams do. COVID restrictions may have become a bit more relaxed as more people are able to be vaccinated, but they’re clearly are still a lot of differences in this season than in past years.
Johnson described some of the changes and how they affected the team. “Some changes are that we have to constantly wear a mask above our nose at all times, we are seated farther apart, and our parents can only come to home games and we’re allowed 2 people max,” she said.
Although this may be the last season for many of the girls on the team, they are still fortunate enough to be able to have a season.
“The restrictions were difficult at first but by the end of the first week everyone on the team was completely used to it. we also realized that we’re extremely grateful to be playing so following a couple of regulations was easy to accommodate,” Johnson said.
Even with these restrictions, the team has been doing very well, and have had a lot of motivation and excitement amongst themselves.
Junior Diana Villegas described one of the best games they’ve had so far, against Downers Grove South.
“After Coach Cory told us that they sent an email saying they wanted to celebrate a girl reaching her 1000th point on our home floor, we just knew we had to beat them. Our defense and offense were very solid. We gave it our all and ended up winning! We were all so proud of ourselves and so were the coaches. They gave us the next day off after that game,” She said.
The team has definitely worked hard to get to where they are now, especially since this whole year has been so unprecedented, with many unexpected turns.
“We’ve been practicing really hard all season. We come into the gym each day with the mentality that we want to walk out feeling like we’ve improved at least a little more since the start of practice,” Villegas said.
In addition, the girls are able to work really well together because they have a close knit bond with each other. Villegas described their bond and expressed her excitement for being a part of the team.
“Our team this year also just has great chemistry. I’ve been waiting for this season since I was in middle school just because I know all the girls on the team this year are such great people.”
Be sure to keep yourself updated on the team to find out how they finish out their season.