GHS girls' basketball team doesn't mind being underrated

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Jan. 5, 2012
Senior Liza Otto makes a layup look easy in the Tomahawks' 58-32 win over Windsor on Jan. 3. Photos by Steve Smith.
Senior Liza Otto makes a layup look easy in the Tomahawks' 58-32 win over Windsor on Jan. 3. Photos by Steve Smith.

For a team that is still finding its identity, the Glastonbury High School girls’ basketball team is doing pretty well. The Lady Tomahawks were 6-2, after a 58-32 win over Windsor on Dec. 3, and they hope to catch more opponents by surprise this season.

“Windsor was actually ranked ahead of us in an area poll,” said coach Brian Fleming, “and we just beat them by 26.”

The team is anchored by seniors Liza Otto, Rachel Smolskis (who has been sidelined with illness recently) and Katrina Hodgkins, as well as returning veteran junior Courtney Latham. Juniors Olivia Still and Ashley Mulryan round out the starters, and Katherine Mahland and Lauren Patton are the first two off the bench.

“We’re trying to get our bench kids to gel a little in the 4 and 5 roles,” Fleming said. “Skill-wise, I have a solid core of five that are just fundamentally sound, and what they’ve done is set examples for the younger kids.”

Defense has been a strength, Fleming said, as the team has held opponents to an average of 39 points (while scoring an average 54), and the team is working on ways to stretch those leads and put games out of reach sooner.

“If we have a deficiency at all,” Fleming said, “it’s that we kind of get stale in the half-court. They don’t quite understand the killer instinct yet. They let teams hang around or get back into it when we should really drop the hammer on them or have a team on the ropes.”

Fleming said there is no shortage of effort in practices, and the team is always preparing their strategy of how to defend against their next opponent. “We try to take away their best player and come up with a defensive game plan, and then hope we can put the ball in the basket,” Fleming said, adding that the team should exceed expectations this year.

“I think a lot of people – judging by some of the polls and things – didn’t think much of us, so we can kind of play that ‘chip on our shoulder’ card,” Fleming said. “We’ll look to make a run in both [conference and state] tournaments toward the end.”

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