North Hills girls basketball wants to finish

Friday, December 1, 2017 | 11:00 PM

The North Hills girls basketball team got off to a strong start last season, but couldn't keep up once section play started.

After winning five out of their first seven games, the Indians finished 9-13 overall and were last in Section 1-6A with a 2-8 mark.

“Last year was a little bit of a disappointment,” coach Lauren Wilmus said. “We are at the point where we are trying to get better each day. Defensively, that is a big goal for us. We want to keep teams within a decent point total so that we can compete.”

Wilmus is entering her fifth year as coach at North Hills, and she will be guiding one of her least experienced teams.

Senior guard Jordan O'Malley is the lone returning starter from a team that only averaged 39.2 points. Defensively, the Indians were strong, allowing only 43.1 points.

O'Malley will be counted upon to produce more offensively. Wilmus also needs her to become more of a vocal leader.

“She is getting it, and we talk to her a lot about her leadership and make sure she is communicating,” Wilmus said. “She is a good teammate and good leader. As long as she is giving it everything she has, we will be OK with her there.”

The Indians must replace the contributions of the graduated Jess Bohen, Anna Tresser and Kristen Collins.

A big part of filling that void will be the play of the incoming freshmen, including Lexi Kotwica, Sydney Ryan and Abbey McElhaney.

“Our freshmen group has been good this year,” Wilmus said. “They work hard, and they push us and will get some time this year for sure.”

The new-look Indians will open the season Dec. 8 against Brashear in the North Hills tip-off tournament.

The final result is undetermined, but as long the Indians compete, Wilmus will be pleased with the positive direction.

“Playoffs are always something that is in the back of our minds,” she added. “We just want to be able to compete. That is the outlook that we would like to have.”

Drew Karpen is a freelance writer.


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