Red Devils find order on the court

Central winter athletes are finally on the move after COVID kept them on the sidelines

Hinsdale Central's winter athletic programs are back in action with seven varsity Red Devil teams competing this season. That includes the boys and girls basketball teams as well as the badminton team (normally a spring sport that was rescheduled), which are previewed below.

Previews of the boys and girls bowling teams, the gymnastics squad and the boys swimming and diving team ran in the Feb. 11 issue.


First meet: Feb. 10 @ OP-RF (V won 15-0)

Last year: season was canceled

Head coach: Katie Maley

Seasons as head coach: nine

No. team members: 14

Team strengths: We are very athletic! These girls have been training, when they can, over the last year. They are so excited to play and definitely coming in at full strength and speed.

Areas for growth: In our doubles, we have our star No. 1 doubles team, Angelia Berti and Lily McCain, who did great in the state tournament two years ago as sophomores and they are back. That being said, they are our only returning doubles team. We have a bunch of sophomores on the teams and we are hoping they get some great experience and exposure this year.

Who to watch: Angelia Berti and Lily McCain at No. 1 doubles, and Jessica Han, who is playing No. 1 singles. She is the younger sister of my former No. 2 singles player, Angela Han.

Season outlook: I am hopeful that we will do great. I was on maternity leave last year, and with the pandemic I didn't get to see any of the girls play. I honestly have no idea how the teams in the (West Suburban Conference) rank this year, but I'm hoping we can keep our long streak of conference and sectional championships alive.

Boys basketball

First game: Feb. 12 @ Hinsdale South (V won 44-39)

Last year: 14-17, lost in regional finals

Head coach: Nick Latorre

Seasons as head coach: 11

No. team members: 20

Team strengths: We should have solid perimeter play this year and we should be a good shooting team. I like our versatility with players that can score in different ways and players that can defend multiple positions.

Areas for growth: We lack true varsity experience - particularly in close games. Outside of (Charlie) Sessa and (Quinn) Cain, none of our current roster has had any significant experience at the varsity level, so I think there will be an adjustment period to the pace of the game at the varsity level and the intensity needed to compete at that level. I think once we have confidence in understanding the level of effort needed, we have a chance to be pretty good.

Who to watch: senior forward Charlie Sessa is going to Columbia University to play football, senior guard Quinn Cain is committed to Tufts University to play basketball, senior guard Charlie Herbst, junior guard Jake Quast and sophomore guard Ben Oosterbaan

Season outlook: In such a different type of season it is difficult to project. But as always, we will be focused on improvement as the season progresses and our hope is to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season. We are very grateful for the opportunity to have a season and will make the most of every opportunity to compete as a team and play together.

Girls basketball

First game: Feb. 12 vs. Hinsdale South (V won 40-20)

Last year: 11-17, lost in regional final

Head coach: Karen Persinger

Seasons as head coach: four

No. team members: 13

Team strengths: One of the strengths of the team is we return a young core of players. The girls work hard and bring enthusiasm for the game and each other.

Areas for growth: We are looking to see growth in all phases of the game. In this shortened season, we want to work on developing discipline on the offensive end and shooting the ball with confidence. Defensively, we are working on our man-to-man and communication on the floor.

Who to watch: seniors Maria Rivera and Maddie Ward; juniors Eleanor Monyek (last season's leading scorer with 10.7 ppg), Lanie Randle, Nina Sarros (last season's leading rebounder with 6.8 rpg) and Tessa Howe; and sophomores Angie Conley and Amelia McLaughlin. The core from last year's team returns and is looking to build on the progress we made at the end of the season last year. We will look to strong leadership on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor from our junior class.

Season's outlook: Our goal is to get better every day we are on the court. For most of the girls, they have not played in a basketball game since we ended the season in February last year. We want to use this opportunity to give our seniors a chance to participate one last time as a Red Devil basketball player, for our young core to continue to improve on their team work and skills, and for our freshman to be introduced to our basketball family and culture.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean