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ROUGH TERRAIN Beck races on a hilly and rocky course on his mountain bike. “I like longer courses because of the terrain and how it’s not just the same thing over and over,” Beck said. “On these courses, it’s about navigating the hills and maintaining a good pace because the course is so long.”
Tour de Beck
December 7, 2023
Curtain call
Curtain call
December 7, 2023

Rebounding

New girl’s basketball coach and captains look to revive team

BOUNCING BACK Malloure going for a lay up during preseason practice. 
“We’re ready for this season,” said Malloure.
BOUNCING BACK Malloure going for a lay up during preseason practice. “We’re ready for this season,” said Malloure.

After a 3-16 season last year, the girls basketball team is getting ready to hit the court with some returning starters and without its now-college-playing star.

The squad ended last season with a loss in districts to Clinton 65-20, who were the top team in the region. The team took a hit early in that season when guard Meezan Hamzavi ‘23 went down with a season-ending injury in the third game. Hamzavi now plays basketball for Grinnell College, located in central Iowa. As the 2023-24 season begins, the starting lineup of Katie Malloure ‘24, Reewin Shi ‘24, Inaaya Nazmeen ‘24, Hannah Behringer ‘25, and Alexi Magdich ‘26 is looking to rebound. 

Malloure said she is excited about this season with the Gryphons even though there are a lot of changes coming to the team. 

“We didn’t do so well with our record last year, but we still had a lot of fun. We had some big wins, like when we got to play at Crisler Center, which was really cool,” said Malloure. “We can continue to build off of how we’ve been growing as a team.”

Shi said she is ready to lead the team this year alongside Malloure, and is confident that this season will be better than last year. 

“As of our first practice where the team was all together, I feel like we can do really well,” said Shi. “I’m feeling happy with our progress.”

Although the team is without some of last year’s top scorers, Malloure thinks the team can rely on some younger players to compensate for the losses.

“[Magdich] is a really great post player, and Hannah Behringer is great at guard,” said Malloure. “I think they’ll really step up this year.”

Shi is also seeing some freshmen who are showing promise like Cate Alumkal ‘27 and Libby Schuster ‘27.

“I think [Alumkal] and [Schuster] will do really well this year,” said Shi. “A lot of our freshmen and sophomores are looking really good.”

After last season, former head coach Janelle Sterling stepped down from her coaching position. Filling her place this year is Taylor Parker, starting her first season coaching the team. 

“We’re looking pretty good through preseason,” said Parker. “As we’ve started workouts, we saw all these ninth-graders show up and I like all of their skill levels. I think we can build off of that this year.”

The incoming freshmen say they are cautiously optimistic and feel excited to be playing on a new team under a new coach.

“We have a lot of new players on the team and I think we’re excited to see where this season could go,” said Schuster. “I think [Parker] is ready to turn us into a winning program. I think this team can make it to districts, [maybe even] make a run towards a regional or state title.”

The new team and coach are a big part of that hope, and Schuster says she recognizes the potential of the team.

“I think [the season] will go better than it has in previous years,” said Schuster. “We have a lot of  talent on the team and I think it will take us pretty far.”

Even with the incoming talent, losing their top scorers this season is something the team is aware of, and they are making changes in their approach to try and grow as a team this year.

“I see us going pretty far,” said Parker. “I think that this season is going to be about going out every day and working hard to improve our skills. We’ll need to be open to learning new things and to learning how to operate on offense and defense. If we can do those things, we’ll go pretty far.”

A lot of changes have come to the team this year with a new head coach, losing players, fresh talent from underclassmen, and seeing a larger team. Nevertheless, Parker thinks the players are ready to go. 

“The players are excited, the coaching staff is also very excited,” said Parker. “All preseason, the kids were really happy and excited to get the season started. We had a lot of girls come out, and I think that everyone is looking forward to this season.”

 

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