Last season, the Evanston Township High School girls’ basketball team finished with an overall record of 23-6, capped off with a loss in the Sectional semifinals. This season, the Wildkits are hoping for more.
“The team came up with the goals and they want to get downstate,” explained first-year Head Coach Brittanny Johnson. “There has [not] been an Evanston team downstate [since 1990-91], and the seniors want to leave a legacy of getting down there and potentially win a State championship.”
In order to reach that goal, the Kits will have to utilize their depth, which is a major strength, according to Coach Johnson. “I think that one of our biggest strengths is our depth. A lot of high school teams cannot afford to play a lot of players, and we are going to play fast, we are going to play a lot of players and I think that [our style] is going to catch people by surprise,” explained the Coach. “They have always been a really good defensive team, but I am looking forward to them really putting up some points this season.”
When asked which players she will be counting on to get the Kits where they want to go, Coach Johnson indicated it will be a team effort, but the seniors should play a major role. “I think it is going to be kind of strength in numbers. I do not think one player is going to be our go-to player,” said the Coach. “I think that everybody has worked hard and really committed themselves to our ultimate team goal, and obviously we have some great seniors [including Allysah Boothe, Brianna Miller, Leah Robinson, Leighah-Amori Wool, and Krystal Forrester]who have been on varsity and that have played in some great games, and I think that [they] are going to lead us.”
Regarding the teams and tournaments they are looking forward to, Coach Johnson said, “We are looking forward to our first tournament [the Lady Saxons Tournament in Schaumburg, taking place Nov. 15-25], obviously, just to get started. I think Schaumburg is coming at us with some really solid games and [the tournament] is a good way for us to see where we are.” The Coach continued, “We are [also] going to be playing Rockford at the Fremd Tournament [on Dec. 3]. They are always a very good team, and they have really good seniors. Also, [the Montini Holiday Tournament from Dec. 27-30] is a huge tournament in the State, and we are looking forward to the competition there, and lastly, playing in the Chicagoland Shootout [on Jan. 21]. We do not know our matchup yet, but we are really excited to play a Chicago Public League School.”
As Coach Johnson enters her first year at the helm at Evanston Township High School, she says she is pleased with how her team has prepared, but with the season just about underway, she indicates she is just ready to start the season. “I feel great. The team has been absolutely awesome. It is super refreshing as a coach to have a group that completely bought in. They are showing up early, leaving late, and they are doing everything necessary for us to be successful. We are just really excited to get going.”
The Coach added, “We are a team that has a lot to prove. This is a team that has been successful, but ultimately has not been one of the elite teams in the State, and I think that they are excited to prove that they are one of the best teams in the State.”
The Kits began their quest toward proving they are one of the best teams when they opened the season on Nov. 15 against Wheaton Warrenville South. In that game, the Kits Leighah-Amori Wool led the way with 20 points. Her first basket broke the school record for most career points by a score of 43-27.
Next up, the Kits take on St. Charles East on Nov. 17, followed by a matchup with Stevenson Nov. 19.