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WAKE FOREST — Heritage’s girls basketball team won 23 games for the fourth season in a row. However, the Lady Huskies kept hitting a brick wall every time they played Wakefield, including the 4A state playoffs.
Heritage went 23-4 overall last year and 8-2 in NAC 6 conference play. Their only two losses against conference opponents were to Wakefield. In fact, all of their four losses from last season were to the Lady Wolverines. Heritage lost to them in the NAC 6 conference tournament championship and the third round of the state playoffs.
Heritage head coach Pat Kennedy said Wakefield wasn’t the team’s biggest problem last year. He said the players need to enjoy the moment if they want their hard work to lead to wins.
“We had a great season last year,” Kennedy said. “Each season is special because as a player you only get a short period of time to play. It seems long while you’re in it, but it really goes by quickly. So, we want the girls to enjoy each practice, each game and each team meal because you can’t get those back.”
Heritage had the best shot to win a state title last year with three seniors who started every game since their freshman year, plus two other talented seniors who put up big numbers.
However, all five of those seniors are gone, which means Heritage will have a brand new starting five on the court this season. Kennedy said the new starters should have an easy transition this year thanks to their competitive nature in practice.
“We are excited for Malia Poirrier, Simone Mahoney and Noelle Horton,” Kennedy said. “They have put in their time, and now they have the chance to play and lead.”
Heritage will have a tough road ahead with only one senior in Malia Poirrier and a competitive NAC 6 conference. Kennedy said the best the players can do is focus on themselves and the rest will come when the time is right.
“Our goal is to just improve each week,” Kennedy said. “We want to be a better team at the end of the year.”
Heritage will tip off the new season at home Thursday against Broughton at 6:30 p.m.