UPDATE: The GHS girls basketball team defeated Westhill at Brunswick School Thursday night 41-31. Photos at bottom.
Meet the leaders of the team who turn lemons into lemonade.
The Greenwich High School girls basketball team captains – Ciara Munnelly, Julia Conforti, Jordan Moses and Beatriz Owens – shrug off the disruption caused by the leak that has limited access to the school gymnasium and resulted in relocation of their games to Brunswick School.
The four seniors have all been bumped from the gym before. And for the same reason.
“It gets normal,” said Jordan Moses. “Basically ‘home’ is wherever we play.”
“Our regular fans are all in the stands. The specific parents and friends who come to support us. We look out there and seem the same people,” Beatriz said.
In fact, the girls see several benefits to the limited gym access.
“It’s helped our game,” Julia said of the partial court they’re temporarily practicing on.
The girls are playing along the far side of gymnasiums A and B, which makes for an extra long court, and all the more running.
“It helps us become a much better running team because it’s much longer,” Jordan said, adding, “Besides, this isn’t just happening to us. There are so many other teams impacted by this. We had a leak in gym at the beginning of the season. Then Greenwich was spelled wrong on the floor. Right now can only use the court the long way. We just laugh and go the wrong way.”
“We’re all pretty grateful to Brunswick to accommodate us as a team even though it’s an inconvenience for them. It’s been fun to go play at a different place.” – Julia Conforti
Besides, said Ciara, “If we dwell on the fact we don’t have a home court, we can’t excel.”
“It’s great way to be ready to play at Brunswick,” Julia said of the long court configuration. “If we’re running more – and have basketball skills on top of that – it makes us a very strong team.”
“We’re on a two game winning streak at Brunswick,” Jordan added. “We’re undefeated at home – whether at Brunswick or at GHS.”
Earlier this week, playing at Brunswick, the girls bumped Danbury from second to fifth place in the FCIAC, with a score of 55 to 47.
Prior to that, on Jan 30 they defeated Fairfield Warde 46-40.
On Thursday night they will play Westhill at Brunswick at 6:00pm.
The girls said Thursday night is extra special because it is also senior night, and the GHS girls dance team are set to perform their winning jazz routine at half time.
The girls said the special day starts with a breakfast and the underclassmen on the team having decorated the seniors lockers with a surprise theme. The day includes congratulations from coaches, and remarks from the underclassmen dedicated to the seniors.
Then, during the Thursday night’s game, all the seniors start even if they don’t usually.
“Everyone looks forward to it,” Jordan said.
Pressed further on the the real secret of their success the girls describe a unique culture of the team.
“When we have chemistry off the court we have it on the court,” Ciara said. “We can give each other constructive criticism. That’s why we’re so successful. In all my four years here I’ve never been on a team so close.”
Beatriz agreed. “We’re a good group of leaders who balance our kindness and holding each other accountable.”
“We’ve learned not to take anything personally,” Ciara said. “Telling someone what to do and not being kind – there is a big difference.”
Ciara added that the team leadership is not restricted to the captains.
“We have two really good freshmen and they’re not afraid to speak up. At the end of the day we’re all one team and they show respect,” she said.
And while next week is February break in Greenwich Public Schools, the girls basketball team has three games scheduled, and practice very day.
“We don’t go away, but it doesn’t feel like a chore,” Ciara said.
The team plays Wilton on Feb 10, Bridgeport Central on Feb 13, and Trumbull on Feb 19.