Updated: March 02, 2021 10:49 PM
Created: March 01, 2021 07:05 PM
A late tip-off to this season didn't rattle the Esko girls basketball team. Upperclassmen have lead them to a 10-2 record so far this season while displaying dominance on both sides of the ball.
In 2020 Esko's seson came to an end in the Section 7AA semifinals. This winter they couldn't wait to return to the hardwood to finish what they started.
"Everybody was anxious for the season to start and they're just kind of grateful to have some sort of season to begin with," said Scott Antonutti, Esko's head coach. "The girls have put in a lot of time."
The Eskomos stepped onto the court on January 18th and went on to tally eight straight wins to stay unbeaten for an entire month.
"We have a strong group of guards so we're taking care of the ball for the most part, and have a low number of turnovers defensively," Antonutti said. "We are creating some turnovers as well so they just get extra shots that teams we are playing aren't getting."
"Definitely our connection together really helps on the floor both offensively and defensively," said junior guard Jayden Karppinen. "We are very strong this year on defense partially because of communication and our connection."
Junior guard Karppinen is a powerful leader on both sides of the ball averaging a team best 17 points per game.
She said she's improved a lot this year as the team has grown closer through this strange season.
"For me the confidence this year has increased allowing me to drive more and shoot more," Karppinen said. "It's awesome being part of a team that can work together to win and pull a victory off."
"She's very, very competitive so I think that rubs off on the other girls too," Antonutti said. "They see a kid having success that's playing so hard, it's great for the whole squad."
As the regular season winds down Esko is working to close it out on a high note and hope to secure a spot in the section title game. Most importantly, they're simply enjoying playing together.
"This season it's been more about just having fun," said junior guard Aila Gabel. "Despite Covid, and all the problems, we're just like let's just have a fun season and have fun with our friends."
Esko is back in action Thursday. They're set to host Virginia at 7:15pm.
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