PENNSAUKEN - The Seneca girls basketball team talks every day about being a family.
It’s that togetherness that helped the Golden Eagles dig themselves out of a hole that was created on Tuesday in a 28-9 loss to Winslow.
After three intense days of practice, Seneca responded with a 51-43 win over Pemberton at the Bishop Eustace Shootout.
For the young Golden Eagles, the team concept is massive as they jell as a unit while navigating one of South Jersey’s toughest schedules.
“We had a team meeting and Jenna Daunoras said we don’t have one go to person,” Seneca head coach Lauren Creel said. “It’s going to take us together winning and that makes us a little unique”
“I don’t know who’s going to do what in a game because we’re very equal,” Creel said. “Once they understand they’re all equally important, it makes a difference and they talk about being a family. We need everyone in our family to contribute and when we do that, we end up being successful.”
The role of primary scorer was filled in the first half by Rachel Roseboro, who ended with a team high of 16 points, nine of which came in the second quarter.
“I think (the fast start is) important for us because once one person gets hot, we all get hot,” Roseboro said. “I think it builds us up to get a lead in the beginning.”
“We feed off each other’s energy so Rachel’s hot and I’m excited for her and that really picks up the energy on the court,” junior Jenna Birnbohm-Kaminski said.
Birnbohm-Kaminski and her sister Kaitlyn usually take the toughest defensive assignments, which on Saturday was guarding Pemberton’s Shavonne Smith. It’s a task the sisters relish.
“My job and my sister’s job is to block out everything and not let the one player get hot,” Jenna said. "It’s always exciting to get an assignment like that and it keeps the game really fun.”
The growing process is also exciting to watch for the Golden Eagles, who have a good amount of chemistry from playing with each other since they were younger.
“We’re growing together every day and i think every day we’re learning more how to work together as a unit, which is exciting,” Birnbohm-Kaminski said. “We’ve all played ball together since we were seven so it’s nice to not even think about it and know where they are all the time.”
The Golden Eagles will admit they’ve had some struggles throughout the season, including their nine-point output against Winslow, but it’s more about how the team responds to adversity than dwelling on past performances.
“Tuesday we were looking in the mirror and saying what team do we have,” Creel said. “We went off an awesome week where we beat Timber Creek and lost by one to Eastern. We were playing really well and then this past week we divebombed. We were trying to figure out who are we really and which team is it going to be. Coming out today is a confidence thing. We’re not varsity experienced so now this gives them that confidence back.”
There will still be tough sledding ahead for the Golden Eagles in the Olympic Conference, but it’s a task they’re willing to take on one step at a time.
“We don't let the competition get into our heads,” Roseboro said. “We think of them all the same. No matter what their name is or who they are, they’re just another basketball team we have to get through and beat.”