A sneak peek into girls basketball

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(Photo submitted by Diana Nanos)

MHS’s varsity girls basketball team.

   Jumping into their competitions with a week-long tournament, the MHS varsity girls basketball team is eager for the upcoming 2022-23 season. 

   The annual Thanksgiving Tournament was hosted by Mundelein the week of November 14.

   “The Thanksgiving Tournament is a tournament that Mundelein high school hosts every year, the week before Thanksgiving,” Senior Varsity Player Diana Nanos said. “We play games all week against good competition.”

   Other schools participating in the tournament included Grant, Glenbrook South, Grayslake North, Wheeling and Highland Park. 

   According to Nanos, the tournament went well, “even with [some losses].”

   “We’ve learned a lot from the losses and had some good runs,” Nanos said. “[Our goal was] to win with 110% effort in our [defense and offense] on and off the bench.” 

   By the end, the team was able to tie for 2nd place.

   “Even though [we had] some tough competition, [we did] great at competing with other teams by working together and continuing to push ourselves to be the best they can be,” Kate Hill, junior varsity player, said. 

   Along with hosting the tournament, the girls basketball team kicked off their season by bringing back the Free-Throw-A-Thon fundraiser to raise money for the program. During this, players “receive sponsors for the [number] of makes out of 100 shots total,” stated Sarah Teipel, head varsity basketball coach.

   According to Hill, it helps pay for things such as gear and traveling fees. 

   Teipel also noted how the fundraiser helps the team “work on improving [their] free throw skills.” 

   “I made [85 out of 100] free throws and raised about $500,” Nanos said. “Each player on [the] team raised more than $300 each, which is great for the program.”

   Since starting off strong by placing second in the tournament and raising hundreds in the fundraiser, the team has high expectations.

   “We are focusing on daily improvement as a team and program, and competing at a high level each game this season,” Teipel said. 

   Hill and Nanos also note the importance of teamwork. 

   “This year our goal is to play as a team and work together because team chemistry is everything when it comes to winning games,” Nanos said. “We hope to be successful as a team whether it’s a win or loss.”

   Nanos added that the team has a “motto of 110 percent,” stating that they want to “work harder than other teams to succeed in games.” 

   Hill mentioned that they want to “prove [they] can compete with top-level teams,” which starts with working together.

   “From communicating on and off the bench to finding an open pass on offense, we have been most effective when we work together and that has shown throughout our Thanksgiving Tournament– even if we may have lost to those competitive teams,” Hill said. “As the season progresses, I am really excited to see us grow and become closer together as a team by continuing to compete and prove to ourselves that we can beat these top-level teams by having trust in each other and ourselves.”

   Along with working together, the team has set other general goals for the season.

   According to Teipel, the girls hope to “grow and strengthen [their] program and culture their basketball skill and life,” as well as “provide opportunities to make positive lifelong memories.”

   Another goal from Nanos ties back to the “110 percent effort” motto.

   “Some goals we have [are] to put the ‘we before me,’” Nanos said. “[This means] limiting selfishness with the ball and putting [110 percent] effort, [while also] working harder for the betterment of the team.”