ST. JOHNSBURY— Coach Jack Driscoll and the Saint Johnsbury Academy girl’s basketball team will be playing their first playoff game tonight against Colchester High School.
The Lady Hilltoppers finished their season with an 18-2 record, earning the first seed for Vermont Division I High Schools for the first time in school history.
The small roster of eight kicked off their season with a nine-game winning streak.
“Well certainly the skill level is higher this year,” Driscoll said. “We have a group of girls right now who really love to play basketball.”
The small squad is led by lone senior, Emilie Begin. Begin, a forward, is going into the game knowing it could be her last at home. However, she’s solely focused on the team’s preparation.
“We’ve been putting all of our energy and focus into playing Colchester,” Begin said. “It’s just a lot of preparation and determination at this point.”
Although the team may face adversity with only three bench players, Begin believes her team’s small size is actually an advantage. “The eight girls on this team are all committed and friendly and competitive. It’s the best group of girls that I’ve ever had the opportunity to be with.”
Being the only senior on the team, Begin plays a unique role for the Lady Hilltoppers. She’s looked up to by the underclassmen because of the example she sets on the court.
“Emilie is a great leader,” St. J sophomore guard Sadie Stetson said. “She definitely plays that role and does whatever [she] can to help out.”
The Lady Hilltoppers will host Colchester High School tonight for a seven o’clock tip off. The Lady Hilltoppers have yet to face the Lakers this season, who tallied 13 wins in 20 games.