The Pacer previews upcoming girls basketball season
January 9, 2017
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The Rolling Meadows High School girls basketball team hasn’t exactly been flying under the radar since placing second at State for two consecutive years. In the two seasons since, the team has won a staggering 38 games, and just a few weeks ago, showed that they had the ability to march right back to the State finals in Normal, Illinois.
“Half of our team has been on varsity for three years now and [we’ve] finished with a record of 19-10 each season,” senior captain Clare Preissing said. “Although that’s a good record, we know we are better than that. As a team we want to win more than 20 games, win our Christmas tournament, which is one of the best tournaments in the state, win the MSL and make a big run in the playoffs while still having fun.”
Just two weeks ago, the Mustangs faced arch-rival Fremd in a showdown between two perennial powerhouses. Fremd gained the upper hand early on, and entered the locker room up five points at the half. The State runner-up for the past two years, Fremd has proved increasingly difficult to beat. Entering the fourth quarter, Meadows was down only a point when senior Morgan Campagna hit two crucial free throws to take the lead. From there, the Mustangs didn’t look back, winning the game 42-37.
“[During] my whole basketball career, I have never beaten Fremd before,” senior Kelsey Nallon said. “The energy from the Stampede was crazy that game and it was definitely a turning point to our season, along with being a huge confidence booster. It was one of the most fun games I have ever played in.”
The revival of Stampede, a club dedicated to supporting athletic teams, has been massive this year. In the past, Stampede has been extremely active during the football season, but had fizzled by winter athletics. This year, they have already made an impressive effort by showing commitment to the success of both basketball teams.
“Stampede is amazing,” senior Kyra Spiwak said. “They impact the game so much and get everyone on the court and bench hyped. They increase the energy of the game and our team performs better. It is a lot more fun to play when the energy is so high because of all the cheering. They rock.”
Last Friday, Spiwak scored her 1000th point against Wheeling.
Senior captain Katherine Nolan, who recently committed to play Division I basketball at Loyola University Chicago, emphasized the needs of the team over any one player. The bottom line is simple: win games.
“We want to win a regional and win more games than we did last year,” Nolan said. “We also want to prove people wrong and win the games people think we can’t.”
Looking forward, the Mustangs have an intense match-up against the Hersey Huskies on Jan. 6, which is a date circled in the calendar for many on both teams. Hersey ended the Mustang’s season at the regional championship last year, and the Mustangs have been eagerly waiting for a rematch.
“The girls my age have never beat the Hersey girls in all of our years playing basketball against them, which includes middle school years,” Preissing said. “We always come so close to beating them, but we are never able to finish games against them. This year, I think we have a really good chance of beating them, but it’s going to be a very tough and competitive game.”
The Mustangs play at home against another MSL East arch-rival, Prospect, tonight at 6:00 p.m.