Young Churchill Girls Basketball Excited for Postseason

Team Photo 2015_2016

Despite graduating a large and talented senior class from last year's 18 win team, Churchill's girls basketball team is having a lot of success this season.

The Bulldogs are 14-4 this campaign, picking up wins over Montgomery County foes such as Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Rockville and Richard Montgomery. It's been an impressive season already considering it's the youngest team in terms of experience that head coach Kate Blanken has had during her tenure at Churchill.

"I'm really proud of what we've accomplished thus far, but we aren't done yet," Blanken said.

Churchill has been led by Coco Kuchins, an unselfish player who has been able to contribute in multiple facets of the game for the Bulldogs. Kuchins is averaging 15 points, seven steals, five assists, and 2.5 blocks per game. Blanken describes her as the team's leader on the court, excelling in running both the half-court and fast break offense. She also plays a huge role in the team's playing style, which consists of playing tough defense which generates chances on offense.

Kuchins has had some monster performances for Churchill, with her 29 point and 15 steal effort against Northwood standing out as one of her best.

Nicole Brodkowitz has gotten better as the season has gone on, providing a boost on offense that the Bulldogs needed. A sharp shooter who is capable of hurting Churchill's opponent both in the half court offense or on a fast break, Brodkowitz is an entertaining player who knows her strengths and plays to them.

Alex Hacopian joins Brodkowitz as one of the team's top shooters, while Nina Hazra does a lot of the dirty work for the team- nabbing rebounds, distributing from the high post and helping handle pressure against the fast break.

Kennedy Gray and Charlene Binen add some steel to Churchill's interior, bringing physicality for the Bulldogs both on offense and defense.

Put it all together and it makes Churchill one of the more well-rounded teams in Montgomery County this season.

"This team is fun to coach because we are able to have intensity and competition, while remaining selfless and team-centered," Blanken said.

Looking ahead, the Bulldogs have a big game tonight against Poolesville, which has the best record in Montgomery County this year. Blanken expects the game to be a physical contest which will require the team to push the ball on offense, while remaining rugged and tough in the interior.

After the Poolesville game, Churchill has one remaining regular season contest against Blair before the postseason begins. The playoffs will provide a big test for the young Bulldogs, who will hope to eclipse last year's team postseason performance, which included one win.

"My goal is to continue working on our weaknesses and improving as a unit," Blanken said. "I expect the girls to bring a lot of energy to the playoffs. They are really looking forward to it this year!"
February 19th, 2016By: Wick Eisenberg

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