The Hamilton girl’s basketball team had an experienced group in the 2015-16 season. With seniors Payton Whitmore and Makayla Filiere leading the way, the Huskies cruised to a 26-4 record and a state championship.
Two crucial pieces of that state championship puzzle returned to court this year in junior guard Maddie Frederick and senior forward Maya Banks. Frederick, an Iowa State commit, leads the team in scoring at just under 16 points per game and Banks, a Wake Forest signee, averages 13.5 points and 10 rebounds per game.
The two are on a quest to lead a deep Husky squad to repeat as state champions.
30 minutes before practice starts and 2 girls in the gym working. That's why they are both committed to division 1 schools. pic.twitter.com/T8P192uACH
— Hamilton Girls Hoops (@HamiltonHoops) January 3, 2017
All About Chemistry
Watching this Hamilton team in the bleachers before their varsity game, it’s clear they genuinely enjoy spending time together. While their strong skills on the court make them a good team, the chemistry helped push them over the hill last year and makes them an instant contender in 2016.
Whether it’s team lunches or opportunities to hang out off the court to avoid from burning out, the team spends a lot of time together outside of games and practices.
“The kids have to get a long and have to enjoy spending time together because basketball is such a long season with the Thanksgiving and the Christmas breaks,” Hamilton head girls’ basketball coach Trevor Neider said. “There is so much downtime that you have to not drive each other crazy, and they do a great job.”
The 6-foot-3 Banks signed her letter of intent this winter and will be playing for Wake Forest. For her, it was a perfect mix to grow on and off the court.
“The three things I was looking for in a college were academics, the culture and what can you do to help me become a better person and a better basketball player,” Banks said. “(Wake Forest) fit all three of those things I was looking for. Their academics is amazing. The campus over there is beautiful and their players are really, really cool.”
Frederick, a junior, made her college decision as well, deciding on the Cyclones of Iowa State.
“I visited up there a couple times and absolutely loved it,” Frederick said. “The atmosphere, the fans, the coaches, the team, I got to spend some time with them. It just felt like home.“
Hamilton Girl’s Basketball First
With so many accolades and so much talent on the floor with a slew of seniors returning, the Huskies’ 24-3 record reflects their team-first mentality.
“Those two, for being as good as they are, never questioned anything we’ve ever done as a program or why they aren’t getting more shots or touches” Neider said. “Whatever the coaches ask, they do it. We’re really lucky.”