The J. Taylor Finley Middle School seventh grade girls’ basketball team is enthusiastic and skilled. It’s filled with experienced players who can’t wait to show Suffolk just how good they are.
Coached by retired guidance counselor and longtime sideline mentor Philip Lowe, the team’s roster consists of 17 energetic players. The Falcons will play a 10 game schedule with home and away contests against Babylon, Elwood, Candlewood, West Hollow and Lindenhurst.
The team has been practicing daily after school. Lowe insists that the players hustle and support each other. Everyone is continuing to develop their skills and while also learning new ones. The Falcons have been drilling some set plays. Everyone has a lot to remember.
The team includes Kenya Baker, Victoria Befumo, Miranda Bellissimo, Hope Bilkey, Ra’niyah Davis, Megan Donaghy, Natalie Dunn, Gabriela Ferreira, Daniela Luca, Kaci McDonald, Ni’Tiera McGee, Gabriella Miller, Ebony Miller, Jillian Panos, Neha Rathore, Theresa Rivera and Erin Scanlon.
Finley is expected to be very competitive this winter. Most of the seventh graders have experience playing the sport, with many previously belonging to local intramural league teams.
Some of the players have looked especially strong during the first few weeks of the season. As others gain more experience on the court, they are expected to rapidly improve their abilities.
The middle school athletic program stresses the development of individual and team skills, so Lowe isn’t concerned about going undefeated or winning a championship, especially since there is no such thing on this level. Instead, the coach is hoping to help instill a love for the sport in every player and is emphasizing that working together toward common goals is fun.
The season will run through March 21 when Candlewood visits Finley for the final game.