MONTVILLE, NJ - Coach Derek Lynn has high hopes for the girls varsity basketball team this year, especially with the success of last year’s record-breaking season for most wins in the program.

“Winning is contagious,” Lynn said, “and I think the [team] understands the mindset of knowing what it takes to win, knowing how hard they have to work to win and knowing how well they have to play together to win.” 

Reflecting on their previous year's record of 18-7, co-captain Amanda Gorski said, “Our goal this year is to get 20 wins.”

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Lynn describes this year’s captains, Gorski and Jordan Strickland, as an “extension of the coaching staff” and players he can trust to lead the team. The duo, both four-year varsity players, will play a vital role in the team’s dynamic as their personal goals as captains is to increase team spirit and morale.

“We want to make the team more cohesive and united,” Strickland said. 

According to Lynn, the team’s “good mix of youth and returning veteran players” has strengthened their dynamic, which began developing in the offseason to unify the players before the upcoming season.

“The most exciting thing for me is to see how that youth steps into our lineup and helps us out,” Lynn said.

Lynn strives to win the conference and go further in the county tournament as well as improve skills in game situations and make practices more efficient. For this season, his own goal is to develop as a coach in “finding the right ways to motivate each player because I feel like every player is different.” 

Although a season can be measured by the number of wins, the most important quality, in which Lynn values in each player, is “playing hard no matter what” and believing in the team’s ability to succeed despite the score or outcome of a game.

“We have size, speed, athleticism and a little bit of everything, so I think we’ll be exciting to watch,” Lynn said.

Montville's first home game is against Mount Olive on Dec. 20 at 7:00 p.m.