The McGraw girls basketball team went 5-2 in the shortened 2020-21 season after starting 5-0, but also lost their top four scorers. The Eagles are now depending on a very young team to keep the wins coming.
McGraw has two juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen on the roster. Of those players, only sophomores Hannah Wilson and Mariah Thompson scored more than 10 points last season.
Despite that, Thompson thinks the team will be able to compete at the level they did last year.
“I think we’re doing pretty well so far,” Thompson said. “It definitely sucks that we lost them (the four seniors) because they held the team up, but with the group of girls that we have, we’ve been working really hard and I see a lot of improvement. I think we’ll do good.”
Wilson is the leading returner, averaging 4.8 points per game during her freshman campaign. She understands that a lot of the load will fall on her to keep the Eagles afloat during the season.
“I feel some extra pressure,” Wilson said. “(Alum) Karissa (Wilbur) graduated last year and held the team together. She scored the most points. This year we have to work a lot harder.”
The person responsible for keeping the team together is second-year coach Corey Wilson. He’s got this team for two season to develop and grow with the goal of usurping the success last year’s team had.
“The girls that I have on this team understand the program,” Corey Wilson said. “I have coached them for a very long time in our youth program and modified level and not it’s my turn to take over the program. They understand how to score. They understand the offense. They understand the system and they have a lot of experience. These girls are really good basketball players. I have a lot of confidence in them and they have a lot of confidence in themselves.”
The Eagles will start their season with a game at 6 p.m. Thursday at Stockbridge Valley.