Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week: North Catholic Trojans
For years, TribLive has honored a Player of the Week in girls basketball and that tradition continues this winter.
However, basketball is a team sport. So this winter, we are saluting a team of the week in WPIAL girls’ hoops.
Our Team of the Week for the week of Dec. 17 is the defending WPIAL 4A champion North Catholic Trojans.
When you are wearing fresh gold and have won a record 18 district girls’ basketball titles, does December basketball carry a lot of weight?
It does if you are Trojans coach Molly Rottmann.
In her 21st season as coach, Rottmann has earned 415 wins, including a perfect 5-0 mark this season.
“It is very early in the season, but I do think that this group has a championship-caliber aura about them,” Rottman said. “We have a lot of talent but chemistry and unselfishness are what we talk the most about.
“We can’t care about who scores, who starts or who finishes. If we are to be successful we have to make sure that team is number one at all times.”
Part of the Trojans five wins this season were two victories in the prestigious She Got Game Classic in Washington D.C. last weekend.
“Our trip to D.C. was a great experience for us and just what we needed to challenge our team,” said Rottman. “The first game we played Glenn High School from North Carolina. They were an athletic team and have a junior, Jaycee Busick, with 15 Division I offers. Kylee Lewandowski and her teammates were challenged to stop her and ended up holding her to only two points.”
“Sunday, we played Cardinal O’Hara from New York, who had the western New York player of the year. They are also used to playing with a shot clock so their tempo was very fast. This was a great game for us as we faced a lot of pressure. We had four players in double figures and had a lot of people contributing in a variety of ways which is a big key to our long term success.”
North Catholic won both games, 56-26 and 61-58.
But then the Trojans had to return home and host an undefeated Apollo-Ridge team in section play. However any signs of a letdown were quickly put to rest when North Catholic led 27-7 after one quarter.
“I was concerned about coming back and facing Apollo Ridge, a new team to our section,” Rottmann said. “They graciously agreed to play us on Tuesday to give us one day to prepare for them. The girls were tired and sore from the weekend. I was very happy with their focus in practice on Monday.”
The Trojans rolled to a 76-22 win followed up Thursday by a 91-11 thrashing of Highlands.
Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at [email protected] or via Twitter @TheDonRebel.