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Coventry girls basketball team looking for postseason success

2/7/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — Through Feb. 1, the Coventry High School girls basketball team had won three of its last four games, and head coach Bob McNamara said he wants to see his players continue to improve.

“What I want to see is just what exactly we’re doing now,” he said. “We’re in a situation where the younger girls are starting to ‘get it.’ We’re having some very good growth with some of the younger girls, while the older girls are still in there working hard. We now have a player rotation of eight or nine girls and people are starting to understand their roles. We expect to finish the season strong.”

Through the season’s first 18 games, Coventry was out to an 8-10 record overall and 3-6 mark in the Portage Trail Conference. Last year, the team won only five games, but McNamara said Coventry’s record this season wasn’t where he wanted it to be.

“We’ve had a couple of very, very close losses that we expected to be wins. But that’s as it is. We also got a win that we hadn’t expected,” he said. “Even though the record hasn’t been as good as we would have hoped, the team is playing well. We’re still fighting hard to have a winning season, and we won’t give up on that goal until we can’t mathematically do it anymore.”

According to McNamara, the team is playing much better now than when the season started.

“First of all, I’ve seen individual improvement,” he said. “I’m seeing improvement with skills, specifically shooting. We have girls who are now leading scorers who at the beginning of the season would get two or four points a game. For example, [sophomore guard] Chloe Baird just had 18 points, and she’s had a couple of games like that lately where she’s [scored a lot of points]. We don’t have to rely on just one girl for scoring anymore. We’ve had some really nice balance in scoring. The other night we played East. We won that game 64-34, and I believe our high scorer was 12, and nine girls scored. So we’re getting a lot of scoring from a lot of people.”

McNamara lauded seniors Kristi Morisak, Alyssa Angeletti, Delaney Walters and Talia Magestro, and junior Alexa Norton for putting in “a lot of hard work” this season.

“These girls didn’t have a great basketball background when I got here, and they have learned a lot,” he said. “And the seniors are still working hard when a lot of seniors might have packed it in by now. These players all give me their very best for every minute they’re on the floor. I wish I had the seniors all back for one more year.”

Because of the team’s record, McNamara said he believes Coventry might be underestimated when the postseason rolls around.

“That’s what we’re thinking,” he said. “But on the other hand, you also have to realize that there are some very good teams that we would have to play, such as Norton, Manchester, Hoban, Triway and Field. Those five teams are very tough. But do we think we can surprise somebody? Yes, we do. We’re looking forward to it. It’s been a while since Coventry has had a basketball tournament win, and we hope to get a couple of them this year.”

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