Winter Watch SPORTS
DECEMBER 17, 2010
The Pitch previews WJ’s winter sports teams
*All events after Dec. 14 took place too late to be covered
Boys Basketball By Josh Benjamin
After last year’s disappointing one-win season, the boys basketball team hopes to hone their playing abilities and improve their record by winning a fair number of games. The Wildcats return the majority of last year’s team, and the team has spent the offseason getting used to playing with each other and establishing team chemistry. “Everyone’s a year older,” said coach Bill Morris. “We have almost the entire team back so I hope we make some strides and improve.” The team has tried to learn from last year’s mistakes and play off of their size and athleticism. “We have a lot of height; we have a lot of strength,” said senior guard Bert Yaffe. “And we’re pretty athletic, and that’ll be a strength this year that we didn’t really have last year.” Strategically, Morris looks to be able to utiSenior captain Sarah Howie looks to lead a young team to victory.
lize the team’s athleticism. In order to do so, WJ looks to create turnovers in order to get out on the fast-break, where the team can take advantage of its athletic ability. When WJ isn’t able to force a turnover, they are still looking to push the ball down the court in hopes of a quick, high percentage shot. Such an offense is designed to control the tempo of the game, and therefore prevent opponents from gaining sustained momentum. While the Wildcats are set out to force turnovers, they will need to take care of the ball and prevent turnovers if they are to have success this season. “[Our weaknesses this year are] taking care of the ball, and really valuing each possession,” said Yaffe. The team has started the season 0-3, with turnovers playing a major role in the losses. If WJ can address this problem, they will be able to compete with any team in the county.
Senior captain Bert Yaffe looks to help the boys basketball team rebound from a one-win ‘09-’10 season.
Photo by Sasha Tycko
By Phillip Resnick
Photo by Sasha Tycko
After going winless two seasons ago, last year girls basketball finished with a much improved 8-13 record. But with underclassmen making up over half the roster and only one senior on the team this year, the girls will need to mature fast if they want to stay on the upswing. “I think at times we will struggle in pressure situations,due
to our overall lack of experience, but I think we should do better than last year,” said coach Tori Moten. Due to the number of girls who have never played varsity basketball, including two freshman, the team will need to learn how to elevate their level of play. “The girls have to learn to play at an elite level. They are all very talented, but they need to raise their game to that next level,” said Moten. Senior Captain Sarah Howie be-
lieves that good teamwork will make up for a lack of veteran leadership. “While we lost three seniors last year we have new players and returners who can step up and help out. I honestly don’t think having only one senior will affect us at all,” she said. So far, the team has started 2-1, and look to be serious contenders come playoff time.
Indoor Track By Brendan Benge
Senior captain Denneto Smith highlights a team that had tremendous success in outdoor track, winning the state title and finishing third in the southeast region. Other standouts on the team include senior Nick Regan, who finished second in the Maryland state championships, and sophomore Ben Crites, who finished 38th in the county as an underclassman. The team has finished fifth and seventh in states in 2008 and 2009, respectively, lead by last year’s Gazette runner of the year Sean O’Leary. They hope to build on their success without him this year. “In 4x200 and 4x400, we definitely want to win states,” said Smith. “But more importantly we want to have a good time winning it.” Key meets that the team is looking forward to include MCPS championships on Jan. 24 where WJ will face ri-
val Churchill, who finished second in outdoor track to WJ in a close decision. Indoor track is looking to surpass expectations and take home more trophies. “This season will be yet another victorious one, fully exhibiting our many and varied talents,” said junior John Stein. Girls indoor track looks to build on their success from outdoor track where they finished eighth in states. The team is lead by the duo of seniors Anna Bosse and Camille Bouvet who finished second and fourth respectively in the 4/A state finals. The team has set the bar very high this year, feeling that they have the capacity to go far this season. “I have very high expectations for our indoor track team this year,” said Bouvet. “I expect us to qualify our 4x800 for Penn Relays once again, and run
even faster than we did last year. We have a lot of talented girls running indoors this year who are thirsty for some gold medals.” In the past two seasons, the girls have finished ninth and 16th in the 2009 and 2008 seasons but are hoping to run better this season due to a strong talent base. “A lot of the distance runners from cross country are returning for indoor so we should have a strong squad. Also, a lot of new runners have come out this season for both distance and sprint so that should really help contribute to the team’s overall strength,” said Bosse.
Senior captains Denneto Smith and Camille Bouvet look to run past the field to victory.
Photos by Sasha Tycko
Dec. 17, 2010 The Pitch