The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Small Senior Group Has ‘Tremendous’ Impact on Girls Basketball Team

Zach Kennett
Senior Molly Peel plays during the home game against Collinsville on Jan. 4. The team won 58-36.

The varsity girls basketball team won their game on Tuesday against Belleville West 53-12 but lost their game on Thursday against No.1 state-ranked Alton 67-36.

With only one month left in their season, the results of these games add to their conference score of 3-3, ranking them fourth in the Southwestern Conference.

The biggest difference in this year’s team is their senior class with only two players: guard Molly Peel and forward Olivia Kolnsberg.

“Both girls have been tremendous,” new head coach Bryan Young said. “Young ladies like those two are exactly what a first-year head coach needs in the program.”

Young recognized that each senior contributes to the team in their “own special ways.”

“Molly is more of our quiet leader…she likes to lead by example…she works hard at the job,” he said. “Olivia is more of a vocal leader…she holds everyone accountable.”

As a leader, Peel tries to prioritize going “game-speed” at practice, reassuring the freshmen and making sure they’re all comfortable with the environment and their positions on the team.

“It’s a lot faster paced compared to middle school,” she said. “Some of [the freshmen] will get upset if they do something wrong, and we have to make sure that they know it’s okay… they’re still learning.”

Kolnsberg’s “biggest focus” is to keep everyone energized, ready to go and to help the players find their rhythm as a team.

“It definitely took a while at the beginning of the season, but we’ve kind of found ourselves better and are working better as a team,” Kolnsberg said, adding that this communication is beginning to reflect in their recent performances.

Though her and Peel sometimes struggle to take charge being a small class, Kolnsberg said the five juniors on the team have taken on leadership roles themselves in preparation for next season.

In addition, Peel noted that each junior player is “good at their own thing” and has been vital for the team’s growth.

“Ellie [Neath] stands out; she’s been starting point guard since [her] freshman year…Blakely [Hockett] also stands out on defense… … Layne [Logan] has stepped up with her shot,” Peel said. “I think next year we’ll have a lot of versatility, and I think that they can all step up and do their own different things.”

The program has seen some notable alums move on to play at the Division 1 level, but both seniors happen to be multi-sport, varsity athletes. Despite this, both said they wouldn’t be continuing either of their sports in college.

Kolnsberg, who will play her final season of soccer in the spring, plans on majoring in nursing and said she wouldn’t have the time for a strict schedule of athletics but would be interested in club or intermural sports.

Peel, who participated in tennis in the fall season, said she wouldn’t be continuing collegiately, because she doesn’t want to have to struggle balancing schoolwork with sports.

For now, they plan on finishing the season strong, knowing they won’t be getting another chance to do so, and remembering the bonds they’ve created with their underclassmen teammates.

“Any time we’re with each other we laugh too much probably,” Kolnsberg said. “We get along so well as friends and that’s definitely my favorite part.”

About the Contributors
Pera Onal, Editor-in-Chief
Pera is a senior and third-year journalism student. In addition to being the editor-in-chief of Tiger Times Online and The Claw, she’s part of the EHS swim and dive team and the local club team, Metro East Titans. She is also a member of National English Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Outside of school, she lifeguards and gives swimming lessons at the YMCA. When she has free time, Pera likes to read, journal, and go to the movies with her friends.
Zach Kennett, Sports Editor
Zach Kennett is a first-time journalism student and first-time member of the Claw. He currently serves as the co-editor-in-chief of The Tiger, which is the school’s yearbook. He formerly served as the managing editor. He has also won two sectional titles in scholastic journalism, with one being in news writing and the other being in sports writing. Zach enjoys spending his (dwindling) free time with his dogs, playing video games, cooking or driving his truck, Hank. Being a member of the Claw is important to him in that he was previously mentored by former Claw members and looks forward to leaving his mark on the publication.