A Change In Pace For Varsity Girls Basketball
By Matthew Berkman
The season for winter athletes started November 6th, but there was one team that got a head start. The girls varsity basketball team received a new coach, Benjamin Carter, who was the former coach at Alexander Hamilton in Elmsford. Coach Carter brings along with him a tremendous amount of experience from Hamilton. While there he brought the Raiders a class C school to be Section One, New York State Regional, and Slam Dunk champions. He also led the Raiders to the state semi-finals. His team became runner up in the section finals four times and league champion four times as well. Twice he was chosen as league coach of the year and as the New York State Coach of Year.
During the fall season at White Plains High School Coach Carter got a few of the girls on varsity and junior varsity teams on the track doing timed runs as well as hitting the weight room. When November 6th came around it was time to get to work as the preseason started. The girls were taught different techniques and skills by their new coach. They were shown different types of plays on defense and offense and worked on these plays until they perfected them. They practiced time and time again, in order to perfect their plays and refine their skills, whether that meant showing up at 6am or on a Saturday they showed up and went to work. “We had done preseason workouts before the season actually started so that was good for us to see his coaching style and the way he wanted us to play. We are going at a much faster pace and we really like it,” said senior caption Madison Povemba.
This season the girls opened by playing Dobbs Ferry at Irvington high school in a tournament beating them 50-42. They moved on to play Irvington, who last season went all the way to the state championship game, but were ultimately defeated. The first three quarters of the game was close with Irvington ending the first quarter up one, then at half White Plains came up by one, in the third quarter Irvington came up by one again, with Irvington eventually winning 61-46. With a new coach and a new approach to the game, I asked more about how this season will be different and if they believe this will put White Plains on the map for girls basketball. “Yes definitely, mostly because last year we lost to them (Irvington) by 40. We stuck to our strategy by pushing the ball because Irvington is a really fast paced team and we knew we would have to play fast if we wanted to stay with them and I think we did a great job in that game. Unfortunately the little mistakes we made in the game came back to bite us,” stated Madison Povemba.
Though the girls had lost to Irvington, in the end they showed that they can be a threat to the dominant schools within the league and class, like Ursuline and Mamaroneck. I asked Madison if she believed that Coach Carter’s approach would help the team be seen more of a threat to those dominant schools. She told me “yes because we are focusing on pushing the ball and tiring teams out. We have also been working on individual skills to help all of us get better and be able to score.” She went on to say, “I think if we stick to our strategies and we play hard, fast, and smart we will be in good shape.”
As the team this year is mostly made up of seniors and has all of the girls but one from last season returning this season, I asked whether or not they believed this would be the season to have a good postseason run. “I think this is the best time for us to make a postseason run because we are more experienced this year and have the right personnel. I think if we play the way we are capable of playing we will make it far,” Madison stated.