What is behind Women’s B-Ball’s Big Season?


Zoe LaPorte, Reporter

The women’s basketball team has already won four more games than they did the in previous two seasons combined, and some credit the team’s culture for their powerful streak.

Jason Rhine, who took the helm as head coach in 2016, said there may be several ingredients in the team’s secret sauce, which has led  it to average 64.6 points per game and win 12 games out of 18. But he said the team’s determination and diligence helps to put them on top.

“{The culture] is being positive and leaving their mark on and off the basketball court, and believing in a sense of ownership that is bigger than them,” Rhine said.

In this case, leaving a mark takes work. The program requires players to commit to early Monday morning practice, achieve minimum grade point averages, and maintain involvement in the surrounding community. Combining  concentrated practices and games with classes and schoolwork can be tough, but the success is on the court and in the classroom: Players have an average 3.5 G.P.A.

Senior Forward Justine Seely said the team is coming together seamlessly this year.

“The team works really well together after having the rough seasons we have. We finally click as a team and support each other like a family does.”

“Coach Rhine has pushed for us to be a family, come together as one, and always have each other’s backs,” said sophomore forward Rachel Carmody. “This season has been very different for the entire team in every aspect.”

Athletic Director Chuck Edkins praises the program’s solid start as conference play begins.

“With every new program you’re gonna have your ups and downs, but it’s just up to us to weather the storm with those things.”

Edkins believes that the culture established by Rhine and his staff has helped the team play with confidence.

Local elementary schools have taken notice and have even reached out the team to have their youth teams meet the players.  In addition, home game attendance

is up, and that alone has inspired players to work harder.

“Our last game on Saturday [January 21] we had probably triple the attendance,” Rhine said.

The team has also gained attention in local newspapers.

“I emphasize family in everything we do – whether it’s study hall, community service, taking a team bond trip up to Rickett’s Glen or even practice. It’s all about family with us.”

“Coach Jason came in and made sure that we all came together and support each other like a family does,” Seely said.

Carmody said that family loyalty shows on the court.

“Everyone competes at high intensities at practice to make each other better, but when it comes to games, we have very good team chemistry and we understand our roles on the team.”

Rhine said the team learns from the coach and vice versa.

“I set them up for success but they work for it,” he said.

Edkins commends the team for “playing with the belief in its leadership. This group of young women has embraced the philosophy of the program and it is translating to success on and off the court,” he said.

Seely is optimistic that that with the talent the team holds now and  Rhine’s help, the future looks excellent..

Carmody believes the program will be very successful for years to come because players “know what it takes to be competitive and how to work to be the best.”

Rhine is certain that the team’s success will carry on into the future, adding that the team’s consistency in game play shows great promise.