Kaitlyn Schenck’s storied season
As the Hawks move to 11-1 Schenck has become a leader
Last Saturday, the Golden Hawks’ women’s basketball team walked out of Windsor’s St. Denis Centre having secured a 60-53 win and top spot in Ontario University Athletics basketball.
These successes can be attributed to many things, but they are in large part due to the play of third-year guard Kaitlyn Schenck.
Against Windsor Schenck poured in 19 points to help lift the Golden Hawks over a Windsor team that has won the national championship in four consecutive years. While her contributions were impressive, Schenck feels the win was the product of a sound team mentality.
“[We’re] very hard to stop in a sense that you can’t just pick one person or two people to stop because we have other people who will step up and score. We’re able to create many different ways and for many different people,” she said.
“When I’m not scoring, somebody else is scoring or we’re creating something different or we’re going a different way. I don’t consider myself a scorer, but sometimes it just happens.”
This season, Schenck has filled a starting role for the 11-1 Golden Hawks. With this increase in minutes, the guard has been given greater opportunity to show off her slashing, aggressive style of play.
“I think my role personally is very transition-oriented. I’m very fast in getting down the court and filling the lanes and stuff, so I feel like I add a little run-and-gun both defensively getting back and offensively running,” she said. She also actively embraced the consequences of her bruising, contact-oriented drives to the basket.
“Ever since I started basketball in grade five, that’s how I’ve played. I don’t really think about it, I’ve just always been a driver. I’ve always been ‘go in, go in to contact, go up and finish.’ It’s more fun when you get hit — getting those black eyes and bruises, those are trophies,” she said.
However Schenck’s forceful on-court style belies an easy-going demeanor off it. Between basketball and multiple jobs, she still fits in time to be a regular student.
“I don’t think I’m very aggressive off the court. I go to school, I study, I hang out with friends. I’d consider myself pretty goofy, pretty silly sometimes. But other than that, I go to work, go to school and play basketball,” she said.
The Golden Hawks’ recent 11-game winning streak is the longest in school history for women’s basketball. Coach Paul Falco’s women have adopted a hard-working, close-knit attitude that has led them to success.
According to Schenck, this mentality is conducive to the balanced, unselfish play of the team this year.
“We consider ourselves a huge family, and every single interview I say that — every single interview everybody else says that. But its true and there’s nothing more motivating than seeing everybody else working hard,” she said. “That just motivates you to work even harder for them. When they’re laying everything out on the court for you, you’re doing the exact same thing for them.”
The aforementioned winning streak has garnered much attention for the Hawk women. While acknowledging that the string of wins is hard to ignore, Schenck stressed that the only things her team focuses on are the challenges the next game presents.
“If we don’t come out 100 per cent ready to go, anything can happen. We just try to focus on the next game ahead — focus on that one, try to get that one done and then go to the next one — and it’s resulted in 11 wins,” she said.
With eight games remaining on the docket for the 2014-15 Golden Hawks, there is still much work to be done. While stating there are a few aspects where her team needs work, including defensive communication, Schenck admitted the team has lofty goals for the rest of the season.
“It’s a little bit different with our conferences this year. Finish top two — you either get a bye or if not, a home-court playoff game. Going from there, placing, hopefully getting a medal in the OUA and then Nationals would be our end goal.”
Schenck’s Hawks are next in action when they take on the 3-10 Waterloo Warriors at home this Wednesday.