The 2020-2021 basketball season was unique in different ways. Of course, COVID-19 made the season different, smaller crowds and wearing masks were the biggest changes for the Monarchs.
This year there was no freshman basketball team because of low number of athletes due to Corona. There was only a JV and varsity team, meaning freshmen were pushed hard to play up to the JV level. Players pushed themselves the whole season and did an amazing job making the best of the situation.
Wearing masks on the court posed a new challenge for players. Despite other schools not requiring athletes to wear masks, Mercy required athletes to mask up on the court. Players this year mentally and physically had to overcome the obstacle of wearing masks. Practices and games became harder and masks seemed more of a disadvantage the whole season.
The four seniors in the basketball program always kept team spirit up. Senior captains, Abby Krehbiel and Anou Akot, along with seniors Marissa Vargas and Annie Vana, led the team on and off the court. The seniors worked hard the whole season despite the changes and the anything but normal senior season.
The crowds at games were a huge difference for the athletes. Only having parents in the stands was a little depressing. Not having that student section to cheer players on when they drain a three or get a breakaway layup was different. All home games were streamed through facebook live, where those who were not able to come to the game could watch virtually.
Quite literally, girls were like family on the court. Cousins Ava ‘23, Gigi ‘24, and Clare ‘22 Coniglio played together the whole season and sisters, Julia ‘22 and Rosa ‘24 Tripp also played together during the whole season!
New coaches started the season, Coach Nicole Lenczowski ‘06 and Coach Becky Markey ‘06 led the Monarchs through the season. Coach Lenczowski (better know as Coach Chow) had a great first year as head coach, beginning a new tradition called the “Blue and Gold Game.” This is a fun, end of season game where the basketball program is divided into two teams. The two teams have a game like scrimmage where the seniors coach the underclass women. The coaches put on some black and white stripes and officiated the game. This new tradition ended the season in a positive and fun way.
Players still shined through the difficult season. Junior Willa Tokporo averaged about 10 rebounds per game and 175 rebounds all season! Sophomore Sydney Crampton had 121 points this season! Senior Abby Krehbiel 21 3-pointers! Out of the 20 games played, monarchs scored 607 points!
Let’s see what next season holds!