December 4, 2019

Displaying Positive Mindset, Unselfish Play, Hun Girls’ Hoops Optimistic About Prospects

KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION: Hun School basketball player Kennedy Jardine dribbles the ball in a game last season. Junior guard Jardine figures to be a go-scorer for the Raiders this winter. Hun was slated to open its 2019-20 campaign this week by hosting Germantown Friends (Pa.) on December 3 and then playing at the St. Luke’s School (Conn.) on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There is a good vibe around the Hun School girls’ basketball team as it gets ready to tip off its 2019-20 campaign.

“We have had a couple of scrimmages and the girls have played extremely well,” said Hun head coach Bill Holup, who led the Raiders to a 9-14 record last winter and is in his 21st season guiding the program. “They are very positive and upbeat.”

Holup is expecting a positive contribution from junior star guard Kennedy Jardine as she has refined her game.

“Kennedy is stronger and better; she is looking to attack the basket more,” said Holup, whose team tips off the season this week by hosting Germantown Friends (Pa.) on December 3 and then playing at the St. Luke’s School (Conn.) on December 7.

“She still has her three-point shot but she has really expanded her game. Her ball handling is good. In the past, she pretty much stayed on the perimeter. It is good to be more than one-dimensional.”

Another junior, Izzy Lalo, is back at full strength after being sidelined last winter.

“Izzy was at Hun last year but missed the season due to a knee injury,” said Holup, noting that Irish postgraduate transfer guard Enya Maguire is currently out of action as a result of injury. “She is healthy now and looks spectacular. It looks like she hasn’t missed a beat.”

The trio of senior Nicole Angelini, sophomore Kiera Hahn, and senior Alexis English figures to provide plenty of hustle in the backcourt.

“Nicole’s defense and the energy that she brings is fantastic for us; she is not somebody who looks to score but when things open up, she takes advantage of it,” said Holup of Angelini, a soccer star who has committed to attend Saint Joseph’s and play for its women’s soccer program.

“Typically she is looking to feed other players; she does  have that ability when it is there. A lot of what she gets is off transition, getting steals. Kiera got the Coaches Award last year. She is one of those all around players who does a lot of the dirty work, getting loose balls and taking charges. There was a stretch last year in the second half of the season where she was drawing two or three charges a game. English is one of those players who is more of a defender. She is a tennis player and has quick hands; she has been looking really good in preseason.”

Hun boasts a very good addition at forward in postgrad Lainey Nolan, a native of Ireland.

“Lainey is 6’0; she will give us some size we were lacking last year,” said Holup.

“She is experienced and has played with the Irish national team at the U-17, U-18 level. She gives us that height that we didn’t have in the past. We are working on getting her to develop more post moves. She has got the ability, even at her height, to step outside and take that shot.”

A pair of freshmen, Sasha Moise and Priscilla Stelmach, are giving Hun more depth down low.

“Sasha is about 5’9, 5’10 and gives us more size; you wouldn’t think she is a freshman because of her low post moves,” said Holup.

“She is very polished and very unselfish. She really looks good in the low post. Priscilla played soccer in the fall and is mainly a lacrosse player. She was a pleasant surprise when she came out for basketball. We are happy with what she is doing, she brings the athleticism. She is playing within herself and not trying to do things that she is not strong at.”

In Holup’s view, Hun can have a strong season if it plays smart and together.

“In all of the years that I have been coaching, I would say we have done a lot more scrimmaging this year as opposed to doing a lot of drills,” noted Holup.

“I think that the girls this year have a basketball IQ that is much stronger than some of the teams I have had in the past. They are pretty smart out there when it comes to spacing, making cuts,  reacting to the defense and looking for each other. As long as they continue to stay with that and be unselfish, we can have success.”