The Island Trees girls’ varsity basketball team is a force to be reckoned with. This past season, they went undefeated in conference play, winning the Conference A4 Championship. This is the teams’ second consecutive season achieving this remarkable accomplishment. In fact, dating back to 2013, they have won 25 consecutive conference games.
Unlike last year’s edition, which consisted of four seniors with ample varsity experience, this team did not have a single 12th-grader on the roster. The Lady Bulldogs’ continued success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the entire team, not allowing youth to be used as an excuse for a dip in performance.
The leadership of junior captains Catherine Zamroz, Lindsay Maleska and Kaeley Johnston has been tremendous both on and off the court, setting the tone and expectations for the team. Juniors Kristie Naydek and Jessica Petry have taken their games to the next level and are key contributors on a daily basis. Moreover, underclassmen Cathryn Kramer, Julia Minafo, Kathryn Mullin and eighth-grader Brianna Fitzgerald have hit the court running. In their first year, they have stepped into big roles and continue to impress with their level of play and constant improvement. Arguably most important to the success of the Lady Bulldogs has been the presence of Elizabeth Mullin, Ashley D’Antuono and Jaimee Napolitano. This group of juniors are consonant examples of what teammates should be, as their positive attitudes are contagious throughout the team.
In addition to the team achievements, many players also received individual honors. Minafo was chosen as an All-Conference award winner. Additionally, Kramer and Maleska were honored as All-Class performers. Lastly, both Johnston and Zamroz were picked to be members of the All-County team, with Zamroz also receiving the highest individual honor of Conference A4 Player of the Year.
With the entire team returning next season, hopes are high for the team to continue its winning ways.
—Submitted by Lynn Collins, Island Trees Athletics