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Teri Rodgers said her New Trier girls basketball team no longer considers itself young.
Yes, the Trevians returned no starters from last season and have only three seniors on the roster. But they’ve also played 19 games following Monday’s 53-26 win over Niles West that ended a five-game losing streak.
Even freshman Jeannie Boehm said she won’t use her youth as an excuse anymore.
For someone who didn’t even expect to play varsity basketball this season, Boehm, a 6-foot-3 center, already talks like a veteran.
Polished in the post from all the years going up against her older brothers, including 2012 graduate Connor Boehm, Jeannie Boehm continues to improve herself.
In fact, Boehm is advanced enough that Rodgers wants her to become more aggressive with the ball.
“She was almost too unselfish,” the coach said. “I told her she needs to score more, to take it hard to the basket. I want her demanding the ball in there.”
In Monday’s CSL South win, Boehm scored six points in a game she probably could have scored five times that amount. During a stretch earlier this season, Rodgers said Boehm led the team in assists.
Boehm’s also been better at rebounding and boxing out, two things she didn’t have to think much about as a tall player in middle school.
As the second youngest of six children — and only girl — Boehm quickly had to learn how to survive on the court.
“For sure,” she said. “I had to figure out how to hold my own in my family.”
Added Rodgers, “Her upbringing has had a huge impact on her.”
Rodgers said that during a game at Dundee-Crown’s tournament, Boehm had to be taken out because she was getting too emotional as a result of all the double-teams and questionable defensive tactics intended to slow her down.
“She wanted to fight back,” Rodgers said. “That was her instant response. She wasn’t going to give in to that. I have to imagine that’s what it was like for her growing up.”
That’s why Boehm admired how Connor handled himself amid constant harassment.
“He always seemed to stay composed,” she said. “He was tough mentally and physically.”
New Trier (10-9 overall, 3-4 in CSL South) is off until it plays No. 5 Trinity on Saturday.