With Costello Taking Helm of Hun Girls’ Basketball, Raiders Embracing Change Heading into 2022-23 Season
MO BETTER: Hun School girls’ basketball player Sasha Moise heads to the hoop in a game last season. Senior forward Moise will be counted on to provide production and leadership this winter for Hun. The Raiders tip off their 2022-23 season by playing at George School (Pa.) on November 30 and will then compete in the Peddie School Invitational Tournament from December 2-4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
As Sean Costello has taken the helm of the Hun School girls’ basketball team this winter, his players are embracing change.
“It has been great, they are doing awesome,” said Costello, the successor to Bill Holup, who guided the program for 23 seasons. “It is all new. It is new system, new process, new practices, new terminology. They have been super receptive with a lot of energy.”
Costello, who previously built the Shipley School (Pa.) girls’ hoops team into a formidable program, is bringing a lot of energy to the court as well.
“I am excited, it is a really good group of kids so it has been good for me,” said Costello, who also serves as Hun’s co-director of athletics with Tracey Arndt. “It is fun to start over kind of. I had built up something at Shipley — it was years and years in the making. Now I get to do something similar here.”
The foundation of what Costello is building at Hun will feature an exciting brand of basketball.
“I certainly like to play uptempo, but having coached at a couple of different levels I have learned that you have to coach to your team,” said Costello. “We will try to play fast but we will certainly have some other things that will play to our strengths. We are definitely trying to install some things that long term will come into play in terms of our spacing and our pace of play.”
Hun will be looking for postgraduate Emily O’Dwyer, who hails from Ireland and junior Anna Schweer to get things up to speed in the backcourt.
“Emily is a very strong player, she is kind of a combo guard,” said Costello, who will also be using freshman Addie McNally, freshman Victoria Lubaczewski, and junior Michaela Pestano at guard. “She plays on the ball a little bit, she plays on the wing. She is a really good shooter. She is a good player. Anna has been on the team for three years, she is a good athlete.”
In the frontcourt, sophomore Amira Pinkett gives the Raiders athleticism and versatility.
“Amira has a really high ceiling, she will play a little three (small forward), a little four (power forward), depending on who else we have on the floor,” said Costello. “We have some good guards and some good wing play, all of those kids will compete for time.”
Senior forward Sasha Moise should provide some good inside-out play for Hun.
“Sasha has been great, she is certainly will be someone that we will rely on a bit,” said Costello. “One thing I have been focusing on with her is not just being an interior player. You will see her facing the basket a little more and getting inside and out.”
The Raiders boast some depth in the paint with junior Lauren Larkin and senior Tylr Neely.
“Lauren played a little bit last year,” said Costello. “Tylr hasn’t been playing basketball but came out this year. She is a big lacrosse player. She is a strong kid who has really helped us immediately. I think she is going help us quite a bit on the inside. She is the biggest kid we have and is a good athlete.”
In Costello’s view, Hun has the potential to have a good season as long as the players get on the same page.
“I think it is just continuing to grow and learning each other’s strengths,” said Costello. “A big part of what we are focusing on right now is our defensive energy and our rebounding. I think that has all been really good early on. Our ability to grow and our offensive efficiency is what will really determine how we do. I think we will be good because we have some good athletes and we will compete. If we get better and more efficient on the offensive end, we will have quite a bit of success.”
No matter how much success the Raiders have, they will bring a lot of intensity to the court.
“They are really into it, they have been working really, really hard,” said Costello. “They were putting in some work on their own in the fall. As soon as we have gotten started they have been really good, they have been doing everything we ask of them and we have been pushing them really hard. I think we are going to be an exceptionally hardworking group of kids and we are going to get better as the season goes on.”