Varsity girls turn 17-loss season into mere memory

Despite an unusually young team, the girls’ basketball team won its first Mission league title in three years with a league record of 9-1.  Of the nine total players on the team, five are freshmen.

After winning their first nine league games and coming off a 30-point victory against Chaminade at home, the girls lost their final league game to Notre Dame, 44-40.

At the beginning of the season and coming off a year in which it lost 17 games, winning league did not appear likely.

“In the beginning of the year, the freshmen had a problem coping with varsity because we didn’t know each other and that transferred onto the court,” Lizzy Brooks ’08 said. “Now we are like sisters, and you can see that when we play.”

The girls began the season with a 2-2 record in their first tournament, but gelled over winter break as they played together more and got used to each other.

“The younger girls getting used to the system and the team bonding over winter break is a big reason for the success of the girls as the season progressed,” coach Melissa Hearlihy said. “Over break, we were living together and there was a point when we played eight games in 13 days.”

Amid the youth and volatility of the team, Yoyo Greenfield ’07 has been a source of stability. 

Greenfield has accepted a less prominent role than last year, but her leadership has amplified due to the youth on the team. 

She has allowed Nicole Hung ’10 to replace her in the leading statistical role of the team.

“Yoyo has been the steady leader of this team,” Hearlihy said. “She was a starter on varsity her freshman year with four seniors the last time we won league, and the great tutelage she received that year is the same that she has given the freshman this year.”

Hung leads the team with averages of 15 points and eight rebounds per game.     She leads both her team and the Mission League in scoring.

The girls will begin the playoffs this week with a home  game against Beverly Hills high. Hearlihy isn’t scared about her team’s seeding and their road through the playoffs this winter.