Girls Varsity Basketball swishes into new year with big win against Leman 


Evie Steinman , Contributing Writer

The Girl’s Varsity Basketball team defeated the Leman School 59-21 this Wednesday, improving their record to 2-5.

During the game, Coach Ray Barile made a defining play call by switching Ava Parento (9), who usually plays on the wing, into the center position. There, she could take more rebounds and score more points, Alara Yilmaz (11) said.

Going into the game’s second half, the Lions struggled to maintain their lead — which might’ve been because of overconfidence after taking the lead in the first half, Yilmaz said.

Luckily, team captain Ceci Coughlin (12) stepped up. A very tall player was blocking many of Coughlin’s lay-ups, which intimidated her at first and threw her off her game. She came back strong in the second half to score around 40 of the team’s points.

 “The second half was definitely our better half which is kind of unusual for us,” Tyler Rosenberg (11) said. “We went into the second half with a clear mind. We were able to read the other team and adjust.”

The team’s five disappointing losses this season were expected: almost everyone on the team last year graduated, so Barile brought seven freshmen straight to Varsity and put two in the starting lineup. Coughlin is the only senior and veteran starter from the 2022 Varsity Team. “We rely on Ceci a lot,” Yilmaz said. “She is the backbone of the team.” 

Her and Junior Team Captain Audrey Goldberg (11), who played on varsity last year as well, are great players and are tremendous role models for the freshmen, Barile said.

Although the team has not found their groove yet, everyone has a great attitude which is the best part about being able to play on this team, Parento says. The main goal for the players is to connect with each other and become one big unit, she says. 

A contributing factor to the team’s extraordinary game was their practices over winter break. “Being able to play during winter break is really important,” Coughlin said. “This is the middle of our season, and we have to keep up the momentum.” 

The next game against Poly Prep will be especially difficult, Rosenberg says. “Poly is definitely a challenging team, and they have more experience as a team than we do. We’ll try our best, but it will certainly be challenging.”

As the freshmen get used to the Varsity team’s intense and structured environment, Barile’s main goal for this season is to be the best that they can be and to see the team improve, he said. “They’re out there everyday trying to do the best they can.”