Girls Varsity Basketball team shares their hopes and goals for this season

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Last month, the Townsend Harris Girls Varsity Basketball team began their season with a strong start, defeating Queens High School of Teaching 57-16. Since then, the team has continued to outperform the competition and is undefeated for 9 consecutive games. More recently, on December 22, the team defeated The Scholars’ Academy 49-46. As the season continues, the team weighed in on their hopes and aspirations for this year. 

Senior Berelyne Chalas said, “I have a lot of high hopes for the team this season. We definitely have the talent to go far in our season and succeed. I hope that as a team we can work together and give it our all.” 

Senior Michela Volpe agreed,  saying, “Our first three games have been amazing wins, and I hope that we can make it far into the playoffs. I know that throughout the season our girls only get closer and build stronger friendships with each other.” 

A tight-knit bond between the team has proved very useful in communication on the court, they said. “The team’s camaraderie is so nice. Everyone was so welcoming when all the new freshmen had joined the team,” said freshman Loise Arcega.

Junior Natalia Ramlogan reflected on how the shortened season last year due to COVID-19 helped strengthen the team’s bond for this season. “Last season our team was pretty new because we had new players who we didn’t know. We were able to bond a lot in that short season, and this year we know each other better and have been able to play with better chemistry,” she said. Sophomore Ioanna Giannopoulou also said, “I wasn’t able to experience a full season like the rest of the team because I was a freshman, but I was able to meet the team and create amazing bonds that would last. This motivated me, knowing that I would be able to play with my team again

Although the season has been successful, for the team’s seniors it has been wistful knowing that their high school basketball career is coming to an end. Michela said, “I’ve been on this team all four years, and it makes me extremely sad that this is my last year. I will definitely cry when it’s the end of the season because of how much I will miss the girls and the team environment. I know I will never find friends or an environment like this again in my life.” 

Similarly, Berelyne said, “It’s bittersweet knowing that this is the last time I will play with my teammates since freshman year and that I will be saying goodbye to the coaches that shaped me into the player I am today.” 

Despite the bittersweet season, the seniors reflected on the experience of playing high school basketball. Michela said, “One thing that basketball taught me is to push yourself and push others to be the best they can. By telling someone what they can improve on or do better, you’re helping them be the best version of themselves. Everyday I hold myself to a high standard because I want to be the best player that I can be, and I do the same for others.” 

With the seniors leaving after this season, the underclassmen reflected on how impactful the leadership from upperclassmen has been. Natalia said, “The upperclassmen have always motivated and supported me. No matter what happens I know my team will be there for me.” 

Ioanna said, “I remember [being told] ‘It doesn’t matter how big you are but how big you play.’ This has always stuck with me because I’m not one of the tallest people on the court, but [I learned] that shouldn’t discourage me from playing any differently. [Also], the little things such as high fives, and encouraging sayings like, ‘Good shot!’ or ‘Great defense!’ is always a motivation to continue playing well.”

With the season continuing into early February, the team hopes to continue improving and winning games. “Just when you think you’ve reached your limit, you surprise yourself and do better,” said Berelyne.  

Photos courtesy of Madeline Cannon