Varsity Girls Basketball Heading Into Break With High Morale Despite Loss
By Nathan Burke, Associate Editor for The Alcove student newspaper
Following the loss to powerhouse Bishop Foley Catholic on December 9, the sentiment of Greenhills’ girls varsity basketball team was not one of disappointment, but instead one of pride and excitement for what is to come.
The team is off to a strong start this season, despite facing a number of challenges. After being down by a significant margin at halftime in their recent game against Bishop Foley, the team was able to rally for a scoring streak thanks in large part to the efforts of one of their key players, shooting guard Riya Narayan ’23.
“After being down so much at halftime, we needed a spark and I felt like I could give it to the team,” said Narayan, who scored a team-high nine points in the game from three deep three-point shots.
The team needed that spark after suffering a major blow Dec. 8 at the Crisler Center when small forward Meezan Hamzavi ’23 injured her knee during the game.
“After taking a hard fall I knew something wasn’t right, and it turns out it is probably a torn ACL,” Hamzavi said. “I’m really disappointed that I can’t be on the court with my team for the rest of my senior season as we’ve bonded really well.”
Coach Janelle Sterling commented on the team’s recent losses—not in their schedule, but in their players.
“We expected a fight today because we were short-handed,” said Sterling. We lost one of our senior captains yesterday [Hamzavi] and another starter today [Lexi Magdich ’26].” We pulled up two JV players to fill our roster [Hannah Kaplan ’26 and Katie Malloure ’24].”
Sterling continued to reiterate the hard-work attitude and growth mindset that she wanted her team to have, especially in the face of adversity.
“If you looked at their effort in the fourth quarter, you couldn’t be more proud of the way they closed the game—even though we knew we were probably not going to win,” said Sterling. “I want the seniors to be able to be proud of the effort they put in on the court and not focused on wins or losses, as we’re in the developmental stage.”
Despite the loss of Hamzavi, the team has continued to play well thanks to the strong performances of several underclassmen, which has not gone unnoticed by captain and power forward Sophia Bleakley Wasserman ’23.
“Obviously we have a very young team this year, so we’re in the rebuilding stage,” said Bleakley-Wasserman “But all of the freshmen and sophomores have been playing great. They’ve really stepped up and filled the shoes of a varsity player.”
One of those underclassmen is point guard Katie Cowen ’26, who has thrived in her first season on the varsity team.
“It’s been scary being a freshman on a varsity team, especially when I have to guard an opposing player who’s a senior,” said Cowen. “The opportunity has been awesome so far.”
With a strong core of young players and a determined coaching staff, the future looks bright for the team.
“I’ve asked them to soak in the experience and the benefits of playing with each other,” said Sterling. “Looking at our younger players on the roster, we want to help them grow into their future team, especially with confidence”