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2017 Girls Basketball Preview

Vincent Bellissimo

By Michael McKay, Staff Writer

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The Niles West varsity girls basketball season has started up, and the girls, coaches and fans couldn’t be more excited. After finishing last season with a losing record, the girls are eager to demonstrate that they can turn it all around and prove they are better than last year’s record showed. With returning players and new coaching, the girls are excited to get this season kicked off.

The girls basketball team has many returning players, mainly juniors and seniors. One of these returning players, senior Tricia Pabst, is confident that this time will be different, and she just wants to make the most out of her final season.

“I’m expecting a lot of good things from our team this year. We have a lot of returning players, and new players that are strong assets to the team. Other teams graduated lots of seniors and members of their starting lineup, so we’re hoping to use that to our advantage,” Pabst said.

Niles West athletic director Kendall Griffin is very optimistic when it comes to this year’s season. An avid basketball fan, Griffin knows what it’ll take for the girls to truly succeed.

“Last year, [the team] was really young, which could have been an issue. This year, it’s mainly our varsity veterans that I’m hoping will bring this team to victory. We need some of our seniors to take leadership roles, and I’m really expecting Nicole Zelazko and Tricia Pabst to fill those roles. We also have a handful of juniors that have been on varsity already and have worked well together, especially Sam GalanopoulosSidney Hines, and Lidia Fakhoury. I expect a lot out of all of them,” Griffin said.

One of the biggest headlines involving the girls varsity team is their new head coach, Kyle Braheny, who is the former assistant varsity boys basketball coach. He’s excited to be the new head coach for the girls team, and he has very high expectations for the team.

“We have the potential to be a very tough, hungry, motivated team. It feels like a new start, not just for me, but maybe even for the girls,” Braheny said. “I’ve been working with these girls since the summer league, and we have all been working very well together. I use the same philosophies and coaching style that I did with the boys, and the girls have just been tremendous. We need to make a name for ourselves in this conference.”

Braheny has nothing but overwhelming support from his team and the staff.

“Honestly, he’s a great young guy. I think the world of him, and he has great energy. He works his tail off and he’s knowledgeable; that’s what you want in a coach. I know the girls love him, and he loves working with all of them, so he definitely has all of our support,” Griffin said.

“I really enjoy having Braheny as a coach this year. It’s unfortunate that Coach Tony Konsewicz had to step down, but Braheny is the right person for this position,” Pabst said. “He has this contagious energy and a drive to make us better as individuals and a team. I like how he is big on defense because that is one of the most important aspects of the game.”

The Niles West girls basketball team is eager to tip-off and wants nothing more than to come out this season better than the previous one. The first game is scheduled for Mon., Nov. 13 at York Community High School at 7:30 PM.

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