Two seniors and a junior. That’s everybody who returns to the Bloomington South varsity girls basketball team this year.
The team graduated a whopping eight seniors last year, five of whom were varsity starters and three of whom were the first off the bench into the game, which leaves coach Larry Winters with a sizable rebuilding process this year. He has a good core to build off of, however, as his three returning players have already proven themselves as strong players and great leaders.
Seniors Anya Friend and Brooke Grinstead, as well as junior Kendall Harmon, are all three-time letter winners at South. They were the team’s top 3-point shooters last year. They have the necessary experience on varsity, and they’ve readily taken over leadership of the team.
“They’ve really stepped up and have done a good job of trying to help the new kids understand what’s expected and how we have to play,” said Winters.
“We have just been showing them what the intensity has to be like at practice, showing them all the plays, and staying patient with them,” said Harmon.
Seven new members on varsity means returning to the basics, not just in practice and on the court, but also off the court. Focusing on building chemistry, focusing on building trust, focusing on building a team.
“The biggest adjustment I had to make this year was learning how to play with each other as a team in general,” said Harmon. “Our current focus is getting tougher and getting used to playing with each other.”
Winters knows that his players are having to adjust, but he also knows that the team is totally capable of adjusting and will get to the place of team cohesion they want to be, eventually.
“We have a new group of girls so it’ll take us a while to figure each other out, it’s going to take some time, but I think we’re going to get there,” said Winters.
However, it will probably take a little longer than it usually would to get there. The team was unable to have spring and summer practices or a summer preseason due to covid, which means that they have truly jumped in head first this season.
Even with the roadblocks the team has had so far, they’re extremely optimistic about the future.
“I’m hoping that we will have a winning season. Our team has a lot of potential and I’m hoping we can reach it, we’re getting better each game and learning from it. I’m really hoping we can win our conference,” said Harmon.
Her coach echoed that sentiment.
“By the end of the season, we look to be very competitive and obviously be able to compete for Conference and Sectionals championship.”
The team has their eyes on the future and, hopefully the prize at the end of the season.