Smooth transition goes on for Timothy Christian
It helps to hire a coach with whom your players are familiar.
Timothy Christian reached into its middle school to find coach Jill Groenewold this season, her first season of her second tour as Trojans coach, helping keep the transition smooth.
"It's pretty simple," Timothy Christian junior guard Sureya Alex said. "A couple of us came up from eighth grade with her so they know her. She coached a couple of my teammates and I in middle school, so we get along with her really well, and same with (assistant coach Peter Semeyn). We all just get along pretty well. They teach us well, they teach us the right stuff to do and they prep us for games."
"Yeah, they're picking it up pretty well," Groenewold added. "Defensively, they're doing a nice job. We've still got to learn a little bit, but they're doing a nice job on the half-court press and our full-court press and man-to-man.
"We're still not moving our feet enough, but that will come, I think, as we get used to it. They played a lot of zone last year, so they're getting better at it."
The Trojans (7-3, 4-0 Metro Suburban Conference Red Division) looked very good in Thursday night's 56-21 victory against Guerin Prep in Elmhurst. Timothy Christian ran out to a 23-3 lead after the first quarter and cruised from there.
Forward Hannah Schuringa, one of three juniors to start, scored 23 points. Center Grace Roland added 7 and was one of two freshmen in the lineup.
"One of the things that we just try and focus on is just because we're beating a team by so much doesn't mean we can just slack off and mess up because then we get into bad habits," Alex said. "So even for one of our harder games we can try out new things or even just work on our fundamentals so that we're ready for those games. That's kind of what we talked about, is don't overlook any game."
The Trojans appreciated that the Gators employed a half-court press in the second half.
"It gave our kids something to work on," Groenewold said. "They didn't do a very good job of it at first, then they finally got it."