Pioneers down but not out
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After the first game of the season, the girls basketball team was without their only two seniors and undoubtedly the two leaders of the team.
Chante Stonewall, a DePaul commit, tore her ACL in a summer basketball league and underwent surgery and a lengthy recovery process.
In the first game of Intercity, Bailey Larsen tore her MCL, ACL, and partially tore her meniscus, an injury that would sideline her along with Stonewall for the rest of the season.
“Initially when it happens you feel terrible,” Head coach Laura Sellers said. “They felt really bad and they deserve to feel really bad. But they’re strong enough and good enough people that they still want our team to be successful.”
Successful they have been, winning yet another Intercity championship and starting off the season with a 5-2 record. The team’s goals for the season have not changed.
“We play an unbelievably competitive schedule and we still want to be competitive in every game,” Sellers said.
With both seniors out, the team needed certain players to step up.
“The three are Raven (Hughes), Addy (Loeffler), and Amber (Nanni), which are who we needed,” Larsen said.
Hughes and Loeffler have had to focus on scoring and become more offensively minded while Nanni, who is traditionally a three guard, had to make the transition to point guard, a position she’s never played before.
“It’s definitely different. It’s something that you kind of have to get used to,” Nanni said. “I do feel pressure from it though to know that if I struggle with bringing it up, we might struggle overall, but I’m still working with it and I’ll get better.”
Nanni is the leader of the very young team with many players seeing a dramatic increase in playing time. Although the team lacks experience, Sellers believes this team is capable of anything.
“I think that by the end of the season, we might have more losses,” Sellers said. “But I think that we’re going to be right there and competing with the best of the best.”