“Mitchell is just an all-out hustle player who plays the game hard and knows no other way to play,” Leichty said. “Okey is a 5-foot-6 guard who averaged over 5.5 rebounds per game, indicating her toughness to go against the bigger players. Baker will be invaluable inside as a 5-foot-10 center. We are looking to our three seniors who have valuable experience and we are looking for their contributions to the success of our season.”
Lydia Trapp and Casey Patterson return from last year and should see significant minutes for the Patriots.
“Both are sophomores and both are solid players who are always hustling and
have a great attitude in learning the game,” Leichty said.
Leichty pointed to junior Emily Hayden and the team’s three freshmen to possibly have breakout seasons this year.
Determining the course of the Patriots’ season is simple according to Leichty.
“Our success will depend on our mental toughness,” he said. “I have been challenging the girls to not allow one mistake to become two mistakes. We need to be mentally tough to recover quickly and not take ourselves out of the game because we focused on our mistake.”
And what will also help Bethesda climb upward towards a sectional championship?
“Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals,” Leichty said. “We are continuing to rebuild and we are focused on the fundamentals of basketball. It has to start with there and build up. The girls are doing a great job at staying focused on these fundamentals doing them day after day so they become second nature.”
Plainfield finished out last season with a 16-6 record and while many teams would look to reload, the Quakers are in the position of rebuilding.
“We have a little different journey this year than we’ve had in the last few seasons,” Plainfield coach Curt Benge said. “We return one starter. Our team is going to evolve and grow as the season goes on. We may have to change some of the things we do.”