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Three-year starter leading Coal City girls basketball

Coal City senior guard Brittany Jezik looks to inbound the ball during a home game Monday versus Peotone.
Coal City senior guard Brittany Jezik looks to inbound the ball during a home game Monday versus Peotone.

COAL CITY – The 2012-13 school year was a good one for Brittany Jezik athletically. She was Morris Daily Herald All-Area in two sports and on a soccer regional championship team.

It is early, but 2013-14 is off to a promising start athletically for Jezik. The Coal City girls basketball team are 10-0 overall and already have a Beecher Ladycat Fall Classic championship to their credit. After a win over Peotone earlier this week, the senior agreed to share her thoughts with the Morris Daily Herald.

Q. What has gone right to allow the team to win its first [10] games so far?

A. I think that, for each of the nine games, someone different was a leader on the court defensively and offensively. Also, trying to not have as many turnovers for each game has also been something our team has been trying to minimize. Considering our main aspect is defense, that is also something that has gone right for us. In each of the nine games, no one has fouled out and we all were able to help and stop almost everything that has came our way. 

Q. Did you expect to win the title at Beecher? What was your reaction to doing so?

A. When it came to the Beecher title, it was something the team and myself were working toward. It’s not something we expected to win, but something we knew that if we did everything we were capable of doing, we could win. Our main goal there was to be better than last year. Last year we were 4-1, so this year we wanted to win it out. When we did win it, though, I was so excited. I was on the team that won the title both years in a row, and to be able to experience something like this, especially for my senior year, was great. 

Q. You’re certainly no stranger to the varsity. How is your role different now from what it was when you first came up?

A. My role when I first came up to varsity my sophomore year was just to play defense, set screens and pass to the posts. As the years went on, I started to improve in different areas. My junior year, I had to take the position of point guard and start to get my offense better. Now my role on the varsity is to be a two-year starting point guard and also be a threat on the offensive side while still doing what I was capable of my sophomore year. 

Q. Coal City seems to be playing at a higher tempo this season. Does that work well with your game?

A. I think that at certain times of our game, pushing the ball up the court works really well for us because all five players that are on the court are fast enough to run down the court and catch the ball. Also, when we are just playing [5-on-5] in our regular set, we move the ball really fast, which make us move fast, and that helps us a lot because the faster we move the ball from side to side, the easier we see the defense start to open up and allows us to see the gaps where we can attack or have a cutter cut through. 

Q. I know this class has looked forward to its chance to be seniors. How long have you been anticipating this season?

A. Honestly, its kind of like a 50-50 type deal. I have been anticipating to be one of the oldest and most experienced player on the court since my freshman year, but also I did not want this year to come because I don’t want it to be my last year with this team and sport. I have been with the some of the girls for seven years and it is just going to be hard to end this season.

Q. Is having 10 players on the roster, and having such a young bench, a concern, or do you feel comfortable with what you have?

A. Ever since I have been on the varsity team, there has always been a young bench and small team, so its not something I am really concerned about because I have been used to it for a couple years now. Also, almost all the girls have been put through many varsity experiences over the summer and last year through some games, so I am confident with them and their abilities.

Q. Coal City just got the No. 2 seed at the Lisle Tournament. What are your expectations for that event?

A. When it comes to the Lisle Tournament, every team wants to win. So of course that is a goal that I hope we can accomplish. This tournament has a lot of good and challenging teams, so just going out there and doing our best and withstanding anything the our opponent can throw at us. Playing how we play and doing it well is what I expect from us.

Q. You’re also a member of the soccer team. What do you remember most now from the very successful 2013 season?

A. What I remember most from my 2013 soccer season is winning the regional plaque and dog-piling onto our goalie once the final seconds of the game were over. It was a very emotional game, and I will always remember that moment.

Q. Which do you like better – the way points are scored over and over during a basketball game, or the way goals are at such a premium during a soccer match, and why?

A. I would probably have to say the way points are scored in a basketball game. The reason why is because if you are down in points, there is always a way to come back if you just hit the right shots, and in soccer, shots are really hard to score, so once a team is down so many points, it is a lot harder to get back.

Q. Do you have any specific goals you’re hoping to accomplish in sports by the end of your senior year?

A. One of my top goals is for the team to win a regional championship in one or both of my sports. Getting a better record from the previous year is also a goal I would like to accomplish. Also, I am hoping to get All-Conference for if not one, both of the sports I play. I am also hoping to play basketball or soccer in college.

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