Girls Basketball perseveres through a season of challenges


Torrie Kortan

Torrie Kortan shortly after scoring her 1000th point, wrapped in a celebratory banner. Photo courtesy of Torrie Kortan.

On Saturday, February 5, Senior Torrie Kortan achieved a dream she had been working toward for her entire basketball career: scoring her 1000th point.
Kortan said that the moment was “like a weight off [her] chest.”
“I had been stressing about it the whole season,” she said, “because it’s been my dream since I started playing basketball.”
She also said that it “wouldn’t have been possible without [her] teammates.”
Kortan’s moment of celebration comes near the end of a basketball season that has been anything but typical for the Saints, including a month-long shutdown due to COVID-19 protocols and multiple changes in coaching staff.
Currently, the Saints have a 17-6 record, and are ranked 4th in the DuKane Conference. According to junior Lexi DiOrio, one of the highlights from the season thus far has been beating rival St. Charles North on three separate occasions.
“It felt great, just like it always does getting that rival win,” DiOrio said.
Senior Olivia Kiefer noted the team’s “two five-game win streaks” as another seasonal highlight.
The season has not been without its setbacks for the Saints, though.
“Right before our Christmas Tournament, the team got COVID,” DiOrio said. “We all had to quarantine. We were immediately pulled from the Christmas Tournament, and had to forfeit many games.”
Overall, Kortan said that the team lost 25 days of the season due to COVID-19 protocols.
“[The lost time] surely made a difference in our play. It felt like every team was a couple steps ahead of us when we came back to play.”
DiOrio said that coming back from the break was one of the most difficult parts of the season.
“A big challenge was finding the motivation to get the team together once we were finally able to resume and just remember why we all play the sport,” she said.
After working hard in practice, though, Kortan said that she feels the team was eventually able to “catch up to the other teams mentally and physically.”
In addition to the month-long hiatus, the team was also forced to overcome a coaching staff change mid-season. According to an article by the Kane County Chronicle, Michael Murphy resigned as head coach of the team for “personal reasons” in early January.
The same article noted that assistant coach Josh Foster was taking over the position as head coach for the remainder of this season.
“The coaching change had a huge impact on all of us,” Kortan said. “We weren’t necessarily all on board with all the changes they made. Even though they weren’t that significant, we still felt overwhelmed at times.”
According to DiOrio, the staff change was a struggle for many team members, but especially for herself.
“Mentally, I was struggling,” she said. “But I was able to get the support I needed. As for the team, we are still the fun, awesome team we were before and I couldn’t ask to be surrounded by a better group of girls and coaching staff.”
Kiefer said that the change actually improved the quality of the team’s basketball: “The coaching change honestly made us better. We have a lot more freedom on the court and truly play as a team.”
Into the final games of the season, the team still has goals they want to achieve. One of these is to make it to state.
“The major goal left in the season is to make it to state,” Kortan said. “We have faced many challenges along the way, and think it’s extremely possible [to make it to state] with a bit of luck and heart. No one wants it more than us.”