The Keene State women’s basketball team is currently in sixth place in the Little East Conference. The team has three more conference games that are crucial for their playoff hopes. The team is 6-7 in the LEC, averaging 52.8 PPG with first-year guard Hailey Derosia leading the team in points with 9.7 per game.  

First-year forward Molly Grant said that the team is playing well considering they are a young team.

“We’ve won some big games this year and, unfortunately, have had some tough losses,” said Grant. “We’ve grown so much throughout this season and have really given the top teams in our conference a run for their money.”

Senior forward Kenzie Bennett had similar feelings to Grant about the season.

“We have had a good season so far,” said Bennett. “We’ve had a lot of growth. We have played a tough non-conference schedule and it really helped us get ready for conference play.”

Junior guard Lily Shlimon is satisfied with the team’s progress.

“We continue to make progress as a team every day,” said Shlimon. “We have a lot of young players who continue to learn more each day and their energy and willingness to get better have played a huge role in where we are now.”

Grant said the team is focused on the playoffs.   

“Right now our goal is to make a run in the playoffs,” said Grant. “We definitely have the talent and the coaching to come out on top. Personally, my goals have been the same all season: to improve every day, both on and off the court, as well as learn from the older girls who have more experience than I do.”

Bennett follows a machine-like routine on game day.

“As a team, and personally, we prepare for all games the same way,” said Bennett. “At this point in the season, they all count and are important. So, for us, that’s knowing our scouting report on the other team, knowing our game plan and plays and being able to execute.”  

Grant commented on how she works to get ready for big games.

“We prepare for big games by eating a good and healthy meal,” said Grant. “Then we go to the gym to get loose and put some shots up. Once it gets closer to game time, we start really hyping each other up listening to music and getting mentally ready for the game. We have two seniors who are both key players for our team; we want to win it all this year for them. I believe that we can completely shock our conference and win the LEC championship. We have all the tools to do it; we just have to bring it all together and really lock in mentally for the next few weeks.”

For Bennett, eating healthy is a major factor to counter the arduous three-month season.

“We try to eat in ways that fuel our bodies and can keep up with the demand from them, especially at this point in the season where we’ve been playing for three months and our bodies are starting to wear down.”

Shlimon tunes in for games by studying her matchups and roles as a player.

“Before games, I try to get focused on what my job is for that particular game,” said Shlimon. “The most important part for me before games is to make sure I’m focused and ready, but, more importantly, I’m excited and having fun with it.”    

Jeremy Landers can be contacted

at jlanders@kscequinox.com