November 28, 2018

Hun Girls’ Hoops Lacks Height in the Paint, Will be Relying on Shooting Skill, Athleticism

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Hun School basketball player Jada Jones races upcourt in action last winter. Senior guard Jones provides production and leadership for Hun. The Raiders were schedule to start their 2018-19 campaign by hosting Germantown Friends (Pa.) on November 27 and Stuart Country Day on December 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last three seasons, the Villanova men’s basketball team has utilized deadly outside shooting and defensive intensity to help undersized Wildcat squads win two NCAA crowns.

As the Hun School girls’ basketball team heads into the 2018-19 season, Hun head coach Bill Holup views that formula as the blueprint of success for his program.

“Last year we had the height, this year we have a lot smaller lineup,” said Holup, who guided the Raiders to a 7-15 record last winter.

“We are looking at what Villanova has done in the past on their men’s team with a lot of perimeter shooting and getting out and scoring in transition. That is what we are going to be doing as well hopefully; defense leads to offense.”

The Raiders boast a key offensive weapon in senior guard Jada Jones.

“Jada is somebody we look to put up big numbers on the offensive end,” said Holup. “She can handle the ball, she can bring it up when we need it, but she can shoot and score. She is a very good slasher in the paint. She knows that games can be won or lost at the free throw line so that is something she really practices and takes pride in being a very good free throw shooter.”

Junior Nicole Angelini and sophomore Kennedy Jardine will give the Hun depth in the backcourt.

“Nicole’s overall defense and upbeat positivity and her all around hustle is just tremendous,” said Holup, who also plans to use freshman Kiera Hahn and junior Alexis English in the backcourt.

“She started virtually every game for us last season. Kennedy is somebody who can shoot the three and also handle the ball really well. She is really stepping up even more so this year.”

Holup is looking for seniors Leah Sutphen and Erin Harrigan to provide some punch in the paint.

“Leah can play forward; she doesn’t back down from anybody regardless of size,” said Holup, noting that freshman Olivia White will also get minutes in the front court.

“She is very physical, very athletic. She is the ultimate garbage player, doing the dirty work. She gets steals, rebounds, and will draw a charge. We also have Erin as another forward. She gives us good minutes and has really stepped up her leadership as well.”

With the Raiders scheduled to start their 2018-19 campaign by hosting Germantown Friends (Pa.) on November 27 and Stuart Country Day on December 4, Holup believes his team’s athleticism will keep it competitive.

“We have a lot of interchangeable parts; we have some tremendous athletes,” said Holup.

“We will definitely have to rely on our defense and pressuring a lot more up top and in the backcourt to get some steals and prevent teams that have more size than us from getting the ball inside. Hopefully that can result in some more offense for us. When these girls get hot from the perimeter, they can really light it up. It is just a matter of being consistent and making those outside shots.”