Photo Caption: McKenna Tanguay drives to the hoop in a game last season against Wyandotte.
BY BRIAN RZEPPA
With the hiring of Will Jones two seasons ago, a flame seems to have been lit under the Trenton High School girls basketball program. A remarkable 18-4 record stood out last year, but it may just be topped this year with the development of the program under Jones.
Returning four All-Area players, the team believes it can take a step forward both individually and as a unit. Seniors Sydney Voss — who recently committed to continue her playing career at Division II Lake Erie College — Caroline Gorno and McKenna Tanguay look to make up the starting core at least at the beginning of the season.
Considering that experienced rotation, Jones emphasized the importance of continuity within a program that is trying to take the next step.
“We are really trying to establish a program here that is sustainable and competitive on a year-in, year-out basis. It’s extremely important to have players return that are familiar with our system and their teammates and our terminology. It’s what everyone who is building a program is looking for and aiming toward,” Jones said.
With 12 different starting lineups throughout the season last year however, that combination will likely change at some point. With Jones at the helm, it has been less about individuality and more working together as a team.
Defensively the team will be running a man-to-man system, a relative rarity for this level of basketball. With their hounding defense, the Trojans have been able to quickly ascend up the Downriver League ranks and have quickly gained respect throughout the area. An 18-4 finish last season was a step in the right direction, but Jones feels that the bar should be set even higher with another year of familiarity for the players within his system.
“We’re going to measure ourselves against ourselves from season-to-season, from month-to-month, from week-to-week and from game-to-game. We’ll be evaluating ourselves every game and I think we should be very, very good. We should definitely be one of the top three teams competing for the Downriver League.”
With heightened expectations though, Jones knows that there can be pitfalls.
“It will be important for us to stay grounded as a team,” he said. “They know we have a chance to be good, but our success has to come from ourselves and our effort. We weren’t outclassed once last year, but we didn’t finish enough plays to win and we hope to change that this year.”
Though a successful season should be had by the team last year, it would be hard to not look further on the horizon and think about what is possible with the roster that will be returning for the 2018-2019 campaign and how a strong year could impact them.
“It’s been 20 years since we have won the Downriver League, so it’s just not a term that people are used to hearing about us. Our other sports at the school have been able to have tons of success and I do believe our players look forward to the kind of challenge of adding themselves to that group of winning programs.”