Girls basketball impresses at season-opening tourney

The varsity girls basketball team began their 2019-20 season by winning three of their five games at the New Trier Thanksgiving Tournament held from Nov. 21 to Nov. 29.

Aside from a disappointing 52-37 loss to eventual tournament champion Fenwick on Nov. 23, the Trevians played stellar basketball in their first competitive action of the season, winning their three games by an average margin of 14 points and scoring over 60 points in each of those games as well.

“I think we have done a very good job so far. We do have a lot of new players on the team, so we are still learning a lot and are working hard,” said junior forward Liv Becker. “I think a lot of people have stepped up on our team like Ava Zaslavsky and Tinah Hong with their leadership.”

The reliable senior backcourt of Zaslavsky and Hong guided an effective offensive attack centered around the scoring of the team’s two junior forwards, Aiden Casey and Becker, during the Thanksgiving Tournament.

After Becker scored 17 points in a thrilling 64-63 win over Phillips on Nov. 20, Casey led the team in both scoring and rebounding in just her second and third varsity games, finishing with 16 points and four rebounds in a 71-49 win over Warren Township on Nov. 21 and posting a double-double in the loss to Fenwick.

“We have some really athletic post players this year who can not only post up but also pull defenders out [of the paint],” said Head Coach Teri Rodgers. “[Becker and Casey] can penetrate inside and get up the court faster than most players that are going to defend them, so I see those two being key players for us.”

The team capped off the tournament with a resounding 79-60 victory over the Taft Eagles on Nov. 29, but their valiant effort against rival Loyola on Nov. 27 proved to be the highlight of the tournament.

Though they ultimately lost 60-53, the Trevians proved to be a stiff challenge for the then-undefeated Ramblers. The team played with relentless energy on both offense and defense, equaling Loyola’s nine successful three-pointers and making three more field goals than the Ramblers.

“When our energy and focus is there, I think that we can be a really good team, so it’s just a matter of maintaining that energy and focus for 32 minutes,” said Rodgers.

While the results from the Thanksgiving Tournament provide reason for optimism, the team still has plenty of room to grow.

With just five seniors on the roster and Becker being the only junior who received major minutes last year, the team will need time to become a cohesive unit and acclimate the new players to varsity-level basketball.

“It can be hard playing with so many new people and the beginning [of the season] was rocky, but within just a few games, the team is already starting to play as one instead of five individuals, so I am excited to see what the future holds,” said Zaslavsky.

While the postseason is still months away, the blend of varsity stalwarts like Zaslavsky and Hong and new additions to the regular rotation like Casey seem likely to maintain the winning tradition that has been a staple of the Rodgers era.

“As a team, we hope to continuously get better, to have a good record, and to make a good postseason run. I believe we can be the conference champions as well,” said Hong. “We play really good teams, but I think we’re ready for every team we play.”