Hoop Dreams: Girls Basketball Anticipates Success


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The 2021-22 Chiefs return four of their five starters from last season’s Berkshire League second-place team.

Ben Stewart, Sports Reporter

WOODBURY — As the snow begins to fall on Nonnewaug High School, the girls basketball team is getting ready for another successful season. After showing their dominance last year, the girls are striving for a well-earned Berkshire League championship in 2022.

The Nonnewaug gym has finally opened up its doors. The players have laced up their shoes. The team has begun to put in the hard hours every day that will hopefully lead them to that championship. The girls plan on continuing their iconic team play and exceptional hard work this season to remain a key player in the competitive Berkshire League.

With most of the starters from last year returning, the sky’s the limit for this talented and focused Chiefs basketball team. 

“We always spend the preseason on three main areas: Implementing our set pieces, both offensively and defensively; being prepared to run offense against zone, man, or other types of defense we will see; and we like to mix our defenses up, so being prepared to play man defense, full-court defense, or a trapping half-court zone are all important to practice,” said coach Adam Brutting.

In addition to the Chiefs’ hallmark gritty defense, the team hopes to play at a fast tempo on the offensive end of the floor.

“Most of the game is spent in transition, so we tend to spend a great deal of time working on decision making on the fly,” Brutting said.  “Putting the players in a variety of transition scenarios helps prepare them for game situations where things can be fast-paced and chaotic. [There’s also a focus on] culture, we spend a lot of time doing small and whole group kinds of activities where the girls can build their relationships.”

With practice underway, and the Chiefs’ hard work is definitely not going unnoticed. The team has expressed that everyone is fully committed to the program, and the players have really bonded together as a team. Through the years, these girls have always been successful when playing together. This will undoubtedly be a main goal in their quest of that BL campionship this season. 

“We have decided this year that one of the ways that we want to set goals is to ask ourselves, ‘What do we want to lead the league in?'” Brutting asked his team.

“I [and the team] came up with three. I asked Coach [Toby] Denman to come up with three and I asked the girls to come up with their own three,” Brutting stated. “Here are a few of what Coach Denman and I came up with: We want to lead the league in celebrations and high fives on the bench after a made 3. We want to lead the league in communication and talking on and off the floor and in being on time. We thought this would be a different and unique way to set goals this year.”

Brutting clearly enjoys coaching this group.

“The best part of coaching these players is simple: They are all hardworking, fun-loving, and dedicated individuals that take pride in being a part of the Chiefs basketball team,” Brutting said. “I look forward to practice and games every day.”

A common refrain in the team sports world is, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” No truer words have ever been spoken. This season will begin with some promising new faces and new responsibilities for returning players. In order to make something happen this winter season, players and coaches will have to work together as a team, starting with the season opener Dec. 13 at home against Terryville.

Nonnewaug can’t wait to see the girls dominate the Berkshire League and add 2022 to their BL championship banner.