Blue Prints

Girls basketball dominates opponents

Matt Nenninger, Utilities Editor

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One thing is for sure this winter
sports season: the Lady Dragons
never disappoint in talent,
record, or team spirit.
So far this season, Coaches
Robert Smernoff, Kelvin Jones,
DeAsia Lawrence, and Stephanie
DeJesus have continued to train
the girls basketball team to one
of the highest calibers in Connecticut
High School basketball,
despite their record.
As of the morning of February
14, the varsity team has an
overall record of 12-8, with a
league record of 5-2. This record
reflects the tremendous effort
and talent of the players. Coach
Smernoff said, “We finished last
season with a record of 23-4, but
our schedule is significantly more
challenging than ever due to the
new CCC scheduling.”
The team hopes that, despite
this tougher schedule due to their
previous successes, they can still
prove themselves.
Smernoff said, “The one
downside [to our schedule] is
that I believe our team is unfairly
judged by our record as compared
previous seasons. It’s not a
fair comparison since the schedule
is much more daunting this
year.” However, it does not appear
that the team has been kept
down by this unfair judgement so
far this season.
Already this season, the leadership
of the team’s seniors and
captains has proved an important
factor in overall team morale and
success.
The team’s three captains, seniors
Amanda Fudge, Mariah
Monroe, and Silvana Barcomb
have done a tremendous job
leading the team to their victories
on the court.
Smernoff said, “As a group,
they help all of the younger
players in games and practices.
Amanda does a terrific job running
the point for us, Silvana is
very good shooting guard, and
Mariah helps us both on the perimeter
and in the paint.”
In addition to the talented play
of the captains, many other players
on the give the team positive
play. Specifically, the promising
pair of juniors Dominique Highsmith
and Mackenzie Dunn help
create the well rounded varsity
team.
This pair of juniors are prime
offensive threats on the floor,
which contributes widely to the
success of the team. According
to Smernoff, they also lead the
team in rebounds.
But like any team, the play of
the underclassmen, the future of
the program, is just as important
as the success of the top players.
Luckily, the Lady Dragons, yet
again, do not disappoint in this
area.
A number of sophomores and
a talented freshman show tremendous
hope for the years to
come.
Smernoff said, “The team
has been bolstered by the play
of sophomores Ayana McCalla
and Deziar Rose-Daniels and
our freshmen addition of Kya
Mayo. Those three underclassmen
provide quality play in both
guard spots as well as Ayana in
the post.”
As mentioned before, the
tougher schedule has affected the
team, but a positive effect of this
is the improvement of each player
and the team as a whole. While
the record may not be as impressive
as what it was last year due to
this schedule, every player on the
team has improved significantly.
“The challenging schedule has
definitely helped each player and
our team improve as they know
every game is going to be played
against a high level,” Smernoff
explained. “It is very likely that
out of the 20 games we will play
in the regular season, 18 of those
games will be played against
teams that make the state tournament.”
The team’s main goal for the
remainder of their season also
includes making it to the state
tournament and surpassing their
successes in seasons prior. They
would like to advance far into
the state tournament, like last
year, and possibly further. Last
season, the team advanced to the
State Quarterfinal. Finishing the
season on a high note is also top
priority of the girls.
“I just want everyone to know
how proud I am of this group,”
Smernoff said. “They have been
challenged daily and win or lose,
they have played their backsides
off.”
Be sure to come out and support
the team in their few remaining
games of the season as
they seek back to back division
titles. Their hard fought play and
dedication to the sport never disappoint.

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Girls basketball dominates opponents