With nine games remaining, the season has been one of promise and hope for the Highland Park High School girls varsity basketball team.The Owls switched from the Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division to the Gold Division this season. The change has been quite fruitful for fourth-year Coach Erin Washington. The team at the present time stands at five wins, nine losses for the season.
“We have been competitive on a nightly basis for the most part,” said the coach. “There are times that we have been overmatched, but for the most part we have been hanging around in these games,” she added.
Ms. Washington hopes that the team can finish strongly down the stretch. “I’m hopeful we can get between eight and 10 wins, maybe 11. “The goal is to finish around .500. If we can build off of what has happened this season and finish on a high note, it is a step in the right direction,” the coach said.
The team has looked to the leadership of two seniors to lead the way, 5’6” guard, Rachel Beyer and 5’8” forward Carly Aversa. Ms. Beyer averages about 12 points per game. “As she goes, our offense goes,” said Coach Washington. Ms. Aversa averages nine points per game and six rebounds per game. “Carly (Aversa) plays hard every night,” the coach added.
Another upperclassmen contributing to the team is junior forward Assata Muhammed. “Assata…is a defensive stalwart and has played very hard for us,” said the coach.
Two freshman players, 5’4” guard Elizabeth Girvan and 5’7” forward Gab Sanchez have contributed to the growth of the squad. “Elizabeth (Girvan) is hard-nosed, loves to win and with her being the second ball handler, has had some big games for us,” said Ms. Washington. “Gab is very athletic and can jump out of the sky. Her play is something to build around,” added the coach.
The future looks bright as this team looks to take charge down the stretch in the winter campaign. Each game is a learning process.
“There is no quiting in our team. We have been able to bounce back from adversity. Our players are willing to learn and looking to build on what we’ve learned this season in the future,” said the coach.