Women’s basketball optimistic, ready to make noise

Megan Ditore, Staff Writer

Linfield’s Women’s Basketball team is focused, dedicated and prepared for the upcoming season. With nine returning players, the ’Cats are ready to battle in the competitive Northwest Conference.

After finishing the season last year in fifth place, the women this year are hoping to be in the top four of the Northwest Conference.

The women’s basketball team added seven new freshmen this year and one new junior. Coach Casey Bunn-Wilson is back for her second year as the women’s head coach. “I am extremely happy with the skill level of our incoming class and their abilities as they adapt to the next level,” she said.

With nine returning players under last year’s new head Coach Casey Bunn-Wilson, ace point guard Quincey Gibson, ‘17 said, “This year we came into the season a lot more prepared than we were last year, physically and mentally. After having played under the new coaching staff for a year, we knew what the expectations were and we all put in the time and effort to get better during the offseason.”

Coach Bunn-Wilson said that this year is going to be different from last year, “The first year under a new staff and philosophy always comes with many challenges. This year is very different in that sense. My returners are doing an amazing job of being positive examples to our newcomers, they are doing a great job of being inclusive and encouraging to the freshmen, which says a lot about their commitment to leadership and is very promising for the future of our program,” she said.

Gibson also commented on the new team members. “I am mostly surprised about how quickly the freshmen have bought into the program. They have done a great job adapting to new philosophies and coming to practice every day ready to learn and compete,” she said.

“I’m really excited about the new team and how well we are connecting with each other. It’s a new feel on and off the court and with all of the newbies. I really like it,” Riley Graham ‘17 agreed.

To prepare for the season, “We were given workouts to do during the off-season, and I feel like it’s really showing now that practice has started. Everyone is quicker, stronger, faster, and we’ve already exceeded where we started out last year,” Graham said.

“This year we have gotten so much farther than last year. Last year it was difficult adjusting to a new coaching philosophy and conditioning and now this year we are much more in shape and lots of steps ahead from where we started,” Jade Everage ‘18 echoed.

“Every day in practice we are pushing each other to the best of our abilities and playing competitively in order to prepare for preseason and conference games,” Gibson said.

There are a couple of surprises for the season, “I think the intensity and the fight in all of the players was really surprising to me. Everyone works hard and the team just has a new grit about us. I also was surprised at how well we’ve meshed so quickly. Everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal. It’s awesome and I can’t wait to go to battle with these girls!” Graham said.

The girls are excited for the season, “Linfield should expect a very hard working and competitive team. We’ve been doubted before and we’ve stepped up to the competition. Expect some good play!” Everage said.

Coach Bunn-Wilson encourages everyone to support. “We want to invite everyone to come and support our Women’s basketball team. Teams feed off the energy of the crowd and that’s always fun atmosphere to be in! GO CATS!” Bunn-Wilson concluded.