Having won just nine games last year, Hamilton-Wenham has turned its record around this winter by winning six of its first nine in the opening half of the schedule.
It’s been quite the change from a year ago, with a new head coach in Jon DeMarco and a brand new system that the girls have been adapting to.
“The players have been great from the first day,” said DeMarco. “There’s always a learning curve when a coach brings in a new system and a new way of thinking. Everyone is starting to get in sync now and we’re playing as a team.”
The Generals’ commitment to defense has been one of the biggest changes from last season. DeMarco also plays with four guards and likes to run an uptempo offense.
“We spend a majority of the practice working on rotations, walking through situations and coaching defense,” explained DeMarco. “We also have to run a lot in practice, and in turn we pride ourselves on being in better condition than our opponent. It also means that some of our taller players needed to adjust to playing as guards.”
DeMarco has even made it a point to have the girls watch game film of themselves to see what they need to work on. He said that at first it was hard for the girls to watch, but they’ve since realized how important it is to improving their play.
Though the Generals try not to pay much attention to records, their 6-3 record has to be looking pretty good right now.
“I know it is a cliché, but we really do take it one game at a time,” DeMarco said.
“As a team, we feel that we have a chance to win every game we play and focus our attention on defense. We have to defend well every game in order to win and the players understand our defense makes us go. We have also told them from day one to never be satisfied.”