BRIMFIELD, Ill. — Coach Maribeth Dura remembers the communication issues she had when her players were first practicing together.
She quickly noticed a lot of young players. And a lot of players with similar names.
“Every time I’d yell a name, they’d all look at me,” the Brimfield girls basketball coach said. “It’s getting better because they all know their roles now. But I find myself calling everyone E and now I’ll get myself in trouble again.”
Two girls named Ella start for Dura. So does freshman Elynn Peterson.
And there’s also Elly Doe and Emily Ehnle on the Brimfield roster.
“They think that’s a lot of E’s. That’s what I think too,” said sophomore forward Ella Lune. “We figure it out. It’s fun. The five E’s, something like that.”
Brimfield is making it work. The Indians are 21-4 heading into Monday’s game against Elmwood.
And the Indians only have one senior.
“I guess you can say we just figured it out, (Coach Dura) started using our last names. That helped some,” said senior captain Ella Cagwin. “We just figured it out and talk to each other on the court.”
Brimfield finished second at the State Farm Classic after Christmas. The players say that’s when they started realizing this could be a special seaosn.
Even with a late-season three-game losing streak, the Indians feel confident heading into next week’s regional play. That’s when the team with all those E’s hopes to string together enough W’s to make it to the state finals.
“It’s definitely on our minds,” said junior Haley Wallace. “I think we have a lot of potential to go to state. We have to take care of business, do the little things right. I think it’s a possibility.”