GHS girls' basketball team looks to next season
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Mon., Feb. 4, 2013
As a rough season winds down for the Griswold High School girls’ basketball team, head coach Kevin Babcock is casting an eye toward next year’s incoming talent from the Griswold Middle School team.
The high school squad lost a squeaker to Saint Bernard, 53-54, on Jan. 29, after battling back from a lackluster defense in the first half to narrow the point spread to a single point with a minute to go. It was a déjà vu-inducing score: the Saints beat the Wildcats by a single point in their previous match-up earlier in the season.
“The girls have played hard like that all year long,” Babcock said. “We just can’t put a full game together. It’s frustrating, but it’s not for lack of effort.”
While numbers are up slightly from last year’s team – Babcock is fielding 17 players to last season’s 11 – their youth means that the program is in rebuilding mode. With no freshman sports, the junior varsity team serves as the sole staging ground for potential high school varsity players.
“They’re getting better every day. We’ve got a good group of juniors and sophomores, and the freshmen should be good next year,” said Babcock. “With the way the girls in the middle school are playing, it’s going to improve the high school program and we’re going to become more competitive.”
This year’s middle school squad is undefeated for the season and is the top seed in the upcoming junior high tournament, he said. Many of those students will be freshmen next year, and that should bump up the varsity team’s talent. “The girls will have to compete against one another, and that makes the program better,” he said.
Babcock pointed to Kirsten Drobiak as the team’s standout this year. He will be counting on the junior’s experience with next year’s squad. Point guard Kendall McGrath played what amounted to a center’s position in the St. Bernard game, said Babcock. “That’s the defense we had to play [against the Saints] to stay in the game - it looked like she was playing center,” he said.
McGrath and center Paige Ansich are the team’s only seniors this year. They’ll be feted during Senior Night at the team’s final home game of the season Feb. 8.