The 2016 Hamilton girls basketball team was one of the most talented teams in Arizona history.
Headlined by Maddie Frederick, Maya Banks and Makayla Filiere, this group had multiple players that went on to play college basketball and made their way to a state title.
This 2019 team didn’t have the same level of talent, but they ended up at the same place at the end of the season: state champions.
“We had a little more talent the first time, this was a group of everyone buying in,” Hamilton head coach Trevor Neider said. “This group has been through a lot over the past 18 months or so. They stuck together, they found a way, everyone just chipping in and doing their part. We didn’t rely on one girl, we relied on everybody. The bench has been great and we find a way.
The Huskies defeated Xavier in the finals in a grind-it-out defensive battle, 45-33. The shots didn’t necessarily come consistently for Hamilton but their defense fueled the win.
It was an appropriate microcosm for the season as a whole.
“Everybody buys in and does their part,” Neider said. “No one’s looking to be the hero, they just want to be a winner.”