With Costello at the helm of Huns women’s basketball team, Raiders embrace change heading into 2022-23 season

MO BETTER: Hun School girls basketball player Sasha Moise drives to the rim during a game last season. Senior forward Moise will be counted on to provide production and leadership for the Huns this winter. The Raiders will play Nov. 30 at George School (Pennsylvania) to wrap up their 2022-23 season, then play the Peddie Schools Invitational Dec. 2-4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

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With Sean Costello taking over the Huns varsity girls basketball team this winter, his players are embracing change.

“It’s great, they’ve done a great job,” said Bill Holup’s successor, Costello, who directed the program for 23 seasons. “It’s all new. It’s new systems, new processes, new practices, new terminology. They’ve been very receptive and energetic.”

Costello, who previously built the Shipley School (Pennsylvania) girls’ basketball team into a strong program, also brings a lot of energy to the court.

“I’m excited, it’s a really good group of kids, so it’s good for me,” said Costello, who also serves as the Hun’s athletic co-director with Tracey Arndt. “In a way, it’s fun to start over. I built something at Shipley—it’s a build-up over the years. Now I can do something similar here.”

The foundation Costello builds at Hun will feature an exciting brand of basketball.

“Of course I like the up-tempo game, but after coaching several teams at different levels, I learned that you have to coach for your team,” Costello said. “We’ll try to play faster, but we’ll definitely have something else that plays to our strengths. In terms of our spacing and pace of play, we’ll definitely try to install something that will work long-term.”

Hun will look to Irish graduate student Emily O’Dwyer and junior Anna Schweer to speed up the backfield.

“Emily is a very strong player and she’s a combo guard,” said Costello, who will also use newcomers Addie McNally, Victoria Lubaczewski and Michaela Pestano at guard. “She’s a bit on the ball, she plays wide. She’s a very good goalscorer. She’s a good player. Ana has been with the team for three years and she’s a good athlete.”

Up front, second-year student Amira Pinkett brings athleticism and versatility to the Raiders.

“Amila has a very high ceiling and she’ll play the three (small forward) and the four (power forward) depending on who else is on the floor,” Costello said. “We’ve got some good guards and some good wings, and all these kids are going to play for minutes.”

Senior forward Sasha Moise should provide Hun with some good inside and outside play.

“Sasha is great, and she’s definitely going to be someone we lean on a little bit,” Costello said. “One of the things I’ve been watching about her is not just being an inside player. You’re going to see her face the rim more, in and out.”

The Raiders have the paint depth of junior Lauren Larkin and senior Tylr Neely.

“Lauren played a little bit last year,” Costello said. “Tyrr hasn’t played basketball, but came out this year. She’s a great lacrosse player. She’s a strong kid and really helped us right away. I think she’s going to help us a lot internally. She’s our biggest Kid, also a good athlete.”

In Costello’s view, as long as the players reach an agreement, the Huns may have a good season.

“I think it’s just about continuing to grow and learn from each other’s strengths,” Costello said. “A big part of what we’re focusing on right now is our defensive energy and our rebounding. I think it’s all really good early on. Our ability to grow and our offensive efficiency will really determine how we play. I think we’re going to be good because we There are some good athletes and we’re going to play. If we get better and more efficient offensively, we’re going to be pretty successful.”

No matter how successful the Raiders are, they will bring a lot of intensity to the field.

“They’re really committed, they’ve been working really, really hard,” Costello said. “They’ve done some work themselves in the fall. We’ve started them off really well, they’ve been doing everything we’ve asked them to do, we’ve been pushing them hard. I think we’re going to be a really hardworking bunch of kids and as the season progresses As we go, we will get better.”

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