After a disappointing 2-18 season last year, the Whaler girls varsity basketball team is entering this winter season fired up to rebound and improve on their previous season’s win total.
Led by senior Joan Harris and juniors Maddie Lombardi and Alana Ludvigson, Nantucket will otherwise have a very new team with 10 new varsity players ranging from freshmen to juniors.
“It is really like a clean slate,” head coach Rafael Osona said. “It is like a clean slate and everyone who is here is excited to be here. The attitudes are good, the vibes are good, and everyone has been very coachable so far. They will get to create their own thing, their own identity which is great.”
Osona said that there was more of an emphasis on the tactical aspects of the game before last season compared to this year, where he is taking more time to learn each player’s skillsets, what they’re comfortable with, and go over the basic fundamentals of the game.
“The younger players appear to have a really good, well-rounded skill set but it will be an adjustment for them to jump into the varsity level after playing at the CPS level (last season),” Osona said.
Osona wants this years team to be one that puts forth maximum effort every game. He said it remains to be seen what their strengths and weaknesses will be from a skill perspective during game action but knows that their effort level and commitment to playing competitive every night is something they can always control.
“My hope is that like last year we will be a team that puts in that full effort and competes regardless of what direction the game is going,” he said. “We didn't get a ton of wins last year but we walked away from all of those games saying 'Hey, we were prepared, we put in the best effort, and at no point did we dog it or ship it in or send it out. We went for it. There's going to be some fun this year. It is going to be a new league. The first stretch is out of league games, which is going to be very challenging and then we're going to get into our league play and I think by the time that comes around after the new year, we're going to be pretty sharp."
The Whalers first game will be on Thursday, December 7 when they travel to Cape Cod Academy for a 3:30 p.m. game and then they will host Martha's Vineyard on Saturday, December 9 at 12:30. You can access the full schedule here.