ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury High School girls basketball coach Jessica Trotter knows the odds are stacked against her team. Beating odds is what makes sports fun.
It's Trotter's first year as coach and she's leading a team that's similarly new. Nevertheless, Trotter – who has one prior year as an assistant coach – is hopefully optimistic.
"We will be young, but we're looking to be aggressive and hopefully surprise a few people," she said in a pre-season commentary "The girls are working really hard to be contenders this season."
On Monday, in a game against Hopatcong, the Gaels proved their coach's upbeat forecast might not be pie-in-the-sky. Roxbury trounced Hopatcong in an away game, beating the Chiefs 59-24.
It was a game that saw senior forward Giovanna Harrigan sink seven baskets and make an additional six free-throws for a total of 20 points. Sophomore guard Melissa Murphy also weighed in big with 15 points and junior guard Sarah Olivero chalked up nine.
"Our strengths are our aggressiveness and athleticism" said Trotter, noting that the team lost three key performers to graduation last year: Stephanie Bogdan, Grace O'Donnell and Rachel Sclar.
She said she has high hopes for newcomers Maggie Dacey, a senior forward, Emily Giordano, a senior forward, Melissa Murphy, a sophomore guard and Faith Panciello, a sophomore guard.
The team, now 1-1, lost its first game, a battle against Jefferson. It next takes on West Morris Central in a home game Wednesday.