Olympus girls basketball seeks big improvements this season
Nov 29, 2018 12:49PM
● By Josh McFadden
The 2018–19 Olympus girls basketball team is eager to erase the memories of a one-win season and contend for a playoff spot. (Photo courtesy of Whitney Hunsaker)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
The Olympus girls basketball team has nowhere to go but up, and head coach Whitney Hunsaker is eager to see where her team can go.
Last season, the Titans went winless in 10 Region 6 contests and won just one of its 21 games overall. Despite a rough season, Hunsaker and her girls are optimistic that this season has much more promise in store.
“It is going to be different,” Hunsaker said. “There is already a different feel as we start this season, and to simply put it, I am excited to see the hard work pay off. We have a lot of options, so I am excited to target all of our options.”
Last season, the Titans had just one senior, so several inexperienced players saw the court. That led to some struggles a year ago but may pay dividends this season. This season, the Titans have 10 upperclassmen, many of whom now have varsity playing time under their belts.
“Our biggest strength this year is that we are fast, and our veterans had lots of experience,” Hunsaker said. “Our focus this year is to be tough in all positions, know that we can compete and connect with teammates. We want to be aggressive, build confidence and play as a team.”
Hunsaker said seniors Jackie Soltis and Taygin DeHart will be critical in directing the team on the court. Both are returning starters along the guard line and bring many skills and abilities to the team.
“They have worked incredibly hard in the offseason,” Hunsaker said. “The girls look up to them. After them, our team is still deep. We have lots of options, which brings me lots of excitement. I’m really looking forward to what this group will produce.”
The Titans last played in the postseason in 2015 and haven’t advanced in the state tournament since 2011. Hunsaker said she and her players would love nothing more than to reach the playoffs once again, especially considering where the program has been the past few seasons.
“The big goal for us this year is to be in the state tournament,” she said. “With a couple of building years under our belts, we expect to be a different team this year. We have put in a lot of work in the offseason and are ready to show our improvement.”
Olympus tips off its season Nov. 20 at Maple Mountain and hosts its first home game Nov. 27 against Taylorsville. The Titans will play 10 non-league games before jumping into Region 6 action Jan. 8 at rival Skyline.
Hunsaker said she’s confident the team can reach its goals, especially if the players can stay mentally sharp and continue to put forth effort each day in practice and in games.
“I think the biggest challenging is maintaining the desire to keep working when the season is four months old and is over all the major holidays,” she said. “That is one of my biggest focuses as a coach this year: to work on the mental aspect of being an athlete so we can maintain our drive.”