Portland Raiders Girls Basketball Preview 2021
Despite the unique challenges the Coronavirus has presented, the Portland Raiders Girl’s Varsity Basketball team is approaching the 2021 season with great optimism. The Raiders will look to improve upon their success from last season by using their experience and versatility to their advantage.
“As successful as this group was, they were not satisfied with how things ended. I think that process of taking the next step started last spring...We did just about all we could to prepare ourselves for this winter. This group was working outside, inside, or in their own driveways to try and better themselves for this upcoming season”, said Jason Haid, the Girl’s Varsity Basketball Coach.
The Raiders were able to practice for just one week before the second-wave of state-wide shutdowns came rolling in. This gave them just enough time to understand the importance of practice and playing hard, before heading into another period of closure. Coach Haid used this moment as a teaching point, reminding them to stay ready because their time will come.
“Our girls have done an outstanding job of collaborating with each other and holding one another accountable to continue working on their conditioning and skill work over the pause”, stated Haid.
This season will be unlike any other. With the constant looming fear Covid-19 presents, the team must look to upperclassmen and leaders for guidance. Many players will also be stepping into new or much larger roles.
“One of the unique things about our team is we have almost the exact same team back from last year as we had no seniors. I do think we will have some players stepping into a bigger role from last year. Shaylynn Dziewiatkowski finished the year strong last year and I see her making an immediate impact this year. Hannah Schrauben can really shoot from the outside…”, said Haid
The Raiders are also excited for the return of Senior forward, Grace Sines. Sines has dealt with a dislocated kneecap ever since her sophomore year, but this season she is healthy and ready to compete one last time.
“I want to prove to myself and everyone that supported me that all of my hard work was worth it and I can come out and be a better player than I ever was before”, stated Sines. “This year I’m going to leave it all on the court and play every game like it could be my last”
Whether it’s during competition or at practice, Grace hopes to serve as a motivation for her teammates. She hopes to set an example for those around her, helping them reach their individual goals, as well as the team goals.
Portland will use their versatility and unselfishness to their advantage. By moving the ball around, they are able to take open shots. The girls also have excellent scoring ability partially due to their vision for potential mismatches and their excellent shooting skills. Ava Gruber’s improved slashing ability and Ashley Bower’s newfound confidence will complement the teams offensive and defensive abilities well. This team will be a handful to opposing squads every night.
“We will get everyone's best shot considering we won the conference last year and we won't take any opponent lightly”, mentioned Haid.
The girls will look to repeat as CAAC-White Champions and hope to contend for a spot in the State Tournament this March.