Varsity girls’ basketball off to hot start


Photo courtesy Kaitlin Mariani

Junior point guard Kaitlin Mariani dribbles up the court in a game against Walter Johnson on Dec. 10.

The varsity girls’ basketball team is back for the first time in two years. Although it’s been a long time since organized high school basketball, the girls have been grinding on their own to prepare for the season.

Coach Maggie Dyer returns as head varsity coach. Dyer has a long history in basketball as she played at the Division II level and has coached ever since. 

Tryouts lasted several days and the high level of intensity was set from the get go. The first day of tryouts consisted of mostly conditioning, including a timed mile and several sprint variations. The girls then worked on several positional drills and played in live action. Following tryouts, cuts were made and the roster of 12 girls was finalized.

We have a lot of experience compared to other teams, which will help us a lot this year.”

— Caitlyn Kwan

Senior guard Caitlyn Kwan and junior guard Kaitlin Mariani look to lead the squad this year. Both girls have been varsity starters since their freshman years. “We have a lot of experience compared to other teams, which will help us a lot this year,” Kwan said.

The girls started their season off at Northwest on Dec. 7. The girls came out ready to play, dominating with their press defense creating turnovers and easy layups. Junior Amaris Palanga led the team with 18 points and 14 rebounds in the 67-26 blowout victory. “We played really well. It was good to have a lead and be able to work on our sets and play together as a team,” Mariani said.

Following the big win, the girls were motivated for their first home game against Walter Johnson on Dec. 10. The fans showed out for the big Friday night game, chanting in support throughout the night. Kwan came ready to play, scoring 14 points along with six assists, leading the squad to a 54-38 win. 

The team traveled to Seneca Valley on Dec. 14, looking to continue the winning streak. Seneca Valley’s defense was aggressive, putting lots of pressure on the Patriot offense. The girls stayed strong, driving to the basket and drawing fouls. Palanga had an impressive 24 rebounds, helping to guide the girls to a 62-51 victory and continue their winning streak.

The team has reported several COVID-19 cases within the last week, causing the team to shut down until after winter break. 

The girls have gotten off to a great start and have potential to go far this year. “We have a really good group of girls and we will be back stronger,” Kwan said