New sectional and new regional add challenges to tough 2021 schedule
The 2020-21 Hampshire girls basketball team has been ready to go since November, but the Governor shutting down sports until March 3 forced the Trojans to remain patient.
Coming off a 11-14 campaign last year, Hampshire is optimistic heading into this season, especially with the reclassification of basketball teams across the state.
Hampshire has remained in class AAA while their former sectional and regional foes, Jefferson, Washington, Hedgesville, Musselman, Spring Mills and Martinsburg are now classified as AAAA schools.
Does that mean the road to a sectional championship is easier this season? Not necessarily. In fact, you might argue that the road to Charleston is more difficult given the teams within the region.
Hampshire is now part of a tough Class AAA Region 1 joining Berkeley Springs and longtime rival Keyser in Section 2.
The other teams in Region 1 include Oak Glen, Weir, Wheeling Central Catholic and powerhouse North Marion.
Will the Trojans have a different approach to the regular season than in years past?
“We will have to be a little more focused on Keyser and Berkeley Springs, more than we have been before,” said Hampshire head coach Julieanne Buckley.
“We want to come out of that section as sectional champions. As far as the region is concerned, I will have to get some game film on those teams and the girls and I will study it hard. We are just thankful to be able to see the court. Scouting will look different this year which will be a struggle for me as a coach, considering I have never played a team without seeing them play live beforehand, but we will adjust the best we can.”
A total of 18 games are scheduled during a 5 week period which will be a challenge for the Trojans.
“Uncertainty of practice time would probably be the biggest one we are concerned about,” explained Coach Buckley.
“We can only hope that we stay in the clear with Covid and the weather cooperates. We do not have nearly the time we usually do to get in shape so we have to consider different approaches. The season will be a progression of getting in basketball shape and splitting minutes. The last thing we want is injury and burnout.”
Coach Buckley did point out that Hampshire is in the same boat as every other team across the state.
“We will adjust and make the best of every second we get on the court together. We are more than ready to get going, once again.”
The Trojans had their 1st practice last night since the restart of winter sports working mostly on getting in basketball shape. ο