With a win against Northfield Mount Hermon for the first time in 11 years, a satisfying victory against Choate, and a sweep in the annual holiday tournament, the girls’ basketball team is having one of the best seasons in recent years.
The team is currently 8-1 and ranked first in the NEPSAC Class A standings. The Greenfield Recorder reported on their success in honor of their dethroning of the NMH basketball dynasty, highlighting the great contributions Greenfield local Raegan Hickey ’20 has made to the Big Green.
However, the wins aren’t the only thing that has made this season special. Under the leadership of new assistant coach Ashani Petrizzi, new head coach Julianne Schloat (she had been the assistant coach for the past several years) and co-captains Tessa Mannix ’20 and Kelly Lahart ’20, the team has come together to redefine what girls’ varsity basketball is all about.
Most of the team would agree that the heart and soul of the team are the two captains, Lahart and Mannix.
“We were so fortunate to have great leadership all of my years here,” said Lahart. “This year I was really just trying to fill the shoes of the great captains we’ve had in the past. Tess and I tried our best to keep a fun and hardworking atmosphere and our coaches have really set the tone for that as well.”
The addition of assistant coach Ashani Petrizzi has also allowed for the team to gain a new perspective on the way they play. “It’s amazing how she’s made it work with her demanding job at Amherst College. She’s brought her expertise from her years of playing basketball as a local star for Greenfield High and Smith College. She’s brought a lot of enthusiasm and energy,” Coach Schloat said.
In addition to a new coach, the team also has a hard-working mindset. The team’s motto “All In, All Out” has truly defined the first half of their season. Every girl on the team contributes, whether she is playing on the court or cheering from the bench, and it is shown in the girls’ results, having an almost undefeated record with only one loss. Team member Kate Kelly ’22 spoke about the “bench squad” and how it’s changed the team dynamic.“No matter who you are, you’re always out of your seat cheering everyone on. That’s been a huge part of what brought us together as a team, and I think it really helped us in some of the tougher games,” she said.
Even the game attendance turnout is better this year. While in previous seasons there were only a small amount of fans, this season you can expect to see the bleachers packed at every home game. “It definitely hypes the team up and makes games more fun,” said Lahart.
For the seniors, this season has been the perfect way to end their basketball career at Deerfield. “There’s so many little things about the team that I’ll miss, like our pregame scream circles and just the camaraderie of being part of a team here. It’s so special,” said Lahart.