The Hopkinton High School girls basketball team comes into the season with 10 players returning from a squad that just missed a spot in the postseason a year ago, and coach Mike Greco is hoping his team can use that experience to compete with the best in the Tri-Valley League.
“It’s nice to hit the ground running with a lot of returning players,” Greco said. “Last year was definitely a learning experience. We had a lot of players with very little varsity experience or no varsity experience.”
That will not be the case for the Hillers this winter. Two sophomore starters return in guard Lauren Cho and forward Lexy Trendel. Cho had to learn the point guard position on the fly last winter, her first as a varsity athlete. Trendel is someone Greco says can bring athleticism to the floor for his team, even more so now that she has a year as a starter under her belt.
Senior co-captain Olivia Gladu is back healthy after missing time last year with an injury. She will be joined in a leadership role by fellow senior captain Cami McDonald.
“Cami has all the intangibles you’d ever want in a player,” Greco said. “She hustles, she provides great leadership, she is smart, she knows the game well, she’s extremely unselfish. She is our glue, I would say.”
Caroline Connell, a junior forward, is another veteran player and a hard worker who led the team in minutes last year.
“She plays extremely hard,” Greco said. “Her biggest contributions come on the defensive end. There will be a lot of times when we ask her to guard the opposing team’s best player.”
Sophomore Kiki Fossbender has shown flashes of being a dynamic scoring presence for the Hillers, her coach said. The young player has “a great knack for scoring the ball,” Greco said, adding he has been impressed with her growth and development over the course of the offseason and during summer play.
Defending Tri-Valley League champion Norwood along with Medfield and Millis figure to be among the stronger teams on the Hillers’ slate this year.
Greco labeled Norwood and Medfield the likely teams to beat in the TVL Large School Division and added, “We are hoping to be right there with them.”
After an 8-12 campaign a year ago, Greco asked his team last week to come to practice with a list of goals in mind for the new season. The coach has some ideas in mind for what he would like to see from his squad.
“Our goal is to focus on the process of getting better,” Greco said. “We want to play present. Whatever it is we are doing in that moment, that’s where our focus needs to be.”