The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

Varsity Girls Earn Best Record Since 2013

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  • Kaylee Rivera ’25 takes a shot against CSW for a 48-25 win over CSW on Jan. 18.

  • Yasmine Demeter ’27 sinks a bucket against CSW.

  • Head Coach Courney Sims addresses his players during halftime for the CSW game.

  • Head Coach Courney Sims addresses his players during halftime for the CSW game.

  • The Gators pose for a team photo after the game.

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In a gymnasium filled with enthusiastic fans on Feb. 15, the Girls Varsity Basketball team staged an unforgettable season finale in the IGC finals against The Landmark School, engaging in a closely contested battle, only to narrowly miss out on victory with a final score of 41-35

Despite the disappointing outcome, the team’s season was far from lackluster.

The Gators concluded the season with an impressive 11-4 record, marking their best performance since the 2012-2013 season, when they clinched the NEPSAC E Class finals boasting a stellar full season record of 17-5.

The significant improvement in the team’s performance, marked by a 27.1 percent increase in win percentage from last season, can be attributed to the influential leadership of Head Coach Courtney Sims and Assistant Coach Brendan Rollins.

Podcast: Coach Sims


How do you think the season went this year? Good. How do you think the season went?

Coach Sims

It went good. I mean, you know, it was my first year, so, like, I didn't really know what I was walking into. You know, I know last year, I think, you know, the team went six and seven.

So, you know, I wanted to really make sure we improve that record and just, like, you know, build a culture, build a foundation for the next years to come. So, you know, we turned around. I think we ended up going 11 and finished 11 and 3, 11 and 4.

I don't know what the final record was, but 11 and 4, yeah. So, I mean, we lost in the finals, which was disappointing, but overall, it was a good season. And, you know, we got a lot better from the first day of practice, from the last day of the games.

Like, it was night and day for the girls, like, in terms of as a team, we was better individually. Skilled, we was better. So I was very pleased with how the season went.


All right. And how do you think you could do better next year?

Coach Sims

Well, we're just going to just keep working. I mean, we're a very young team. We only have one senior.

I believe we only have one junior. So, I mean, the rest of the girls are sophomores and freshmen and eighth graders and seventh graders. So I know hopefully we have some girls applying that are pretty good.

Hopefully they get in, but just keep working and keep building and keep outworking all the other teams and getting better. And, you know, that's the only way I know.


All right. And this stems into what you just said. Considering the team is quite young, how do you feel about the future of the team?

Coach Sims

I'm very hopeful about the future. I think we got a lot of young players that, you know, show some strides. I got a lot better this year.

You know, Alexa showed a lot of growth this year. Yasmin showed a lot of growth. A lot of girls.

Sophia was really played really well. So Maya as well. And Lala, too.

So we have a lot of girls. We have a building block for it to get better and to build on for next year. And, you know, we're just going to keep working.

Like I said, just keep working. Keep getting in the gym, getting better and better. And hopefully, you know, it shows next year.

I know one of the teams in class D, they're ranked number three in the tournament this year. And we beat them by three. So, I mean, the future is definitely bright.


And this being your first season coaching rumor, what challenges did you face taking on this new role?

Coach Sims

Just really like I'm kind of a hard coach. I demand. I'm very demanding.

I'm on it, you know, and I think the girls are really used to that in the beginning. So just the main challenge this year was just the girls getting comfortable with me, comfortable with my coaching style and just, you know, in our playing style, because, you know, I like to play really, really fast. A lot of coaches like to play that way.

And, you know, just getting used to that. So I think now that the girls kind of kind of went through this year, they'll be prepared for next year from the start, from the from the first day.


How has your experience in the NBA and other professions helped you take this team to new heights?

Coach Sims

Well, obviously, you know, just just being around, just being in that in that environment, like you learn a lot. Like I've been taught, you know, I've been coached by Tommy Amaker, who is one of the best coaches, college coaches in America. You know, when I was in the G League, I was coached by Coach Nurse, which is now he's in the NBA, one of the best NBA coaches.

So, like, you know, I went overseas to some of the top teams and in those countries, in Russia, China, Korea, Belgium, everywhere. So just like picking the brains of those coaches and seeing how they do things and not taking everything from one coach, but maybe taking one thing from one coach and another thing that I like from another coach and all that stuff. It just helped me like kind of build what type of structure, what type of culture I want for my team and what type of coach I want to be.

So, you know, just dealing with that, seeing how, you know, like how a program is supposed to run in college and stuff like that. I kind of want to make it similar at Brimmer.


And this stems into what you said at the beginning of our conversation. The team went from having a record of six wins and seven losses last year. This year, you were able to finish with a record of 11 wins and four losses, which is the highest record this team has had since the 2012-2013 season where the team won NEPSAC.

What methods did you use to shape this team into a title contender?

Coach Sims

My main thing is getting in shape. I feel like if you're in the best shape, if you're in the best shape team, if you can outrun teams and get them tired and be able to execute while you're tired and hit shots while you're tired, then that gives you a leg up. So my first thing is always being in the best shape.

And then next is playing the best defense. And I think we held a lot of teams to, you know, low scoring games and everything. So there's not a lot.

There's some things you can't control in basketball, like if shots are going in and all that stuff. But one thing you can't control is how in shape you are and the effort you give on defense. So I just tried to concentrate on the things that we can control and, you know, no matter what level of skill we have.

So being in shape and playing defense was the key.


All right. And that's all the questions I have. Thank you.

Thanks for joining me. All right. All right.

No problem. All right. Thank you.

“Our coaches really helped us because we did a lot more of conditioning than we did in previous years, which helped us to be able to play better on the court,” Captain Kaylee Rivera ’25 said.

The introduction of a new level of intensity by the coaching staff presented a significant adjustment for the team, with players initially finding it challenging to adapt.

“I think Coach Sims was really hard on us to get us better,” said Yasmine Demeter ‘27.

Rivera also felt that the team struggled to adjust at first.

“There was a lot more running, a lot more plays—more stuff we had to remember on the court, so sometimes it got confusing,” Rivera said.

Sims acknowledged these adaptation challenges as well, citing them as the most significant hurdle of the season.

I think there’s definitely a chance we’ll win a couple championships.

— Alexa Dykeman '27

“I’m very demanding,” Sims said. “I’m on it, you know, and I think the girls weren’t really used to that in the beginning. The main challenge this year was just the girls getting comfortable with me, comfortable with my coaching style.”

Despite the team’s initial adjustment period, Sims remained steadfast in his goals, confident in the effectiveness of his coaching methods.

“If you’re in the best shape, if you can outrun teams and get them tired and be able to execute while you’re tired and hit shots while you’re tired, then that gives you a leg up,” Sims said.

The efficacy of his strategies was swiftly validated as the team racked up wins.

“Overall, during the regular season, we did really well,” Rivera said. “A lot better than we thought we would.”

As the season unfolded, the players gradually adapted to the new coaching style, increasingly recognizing and appreciating its positive impact.

“The coaches were just always very encouraging, and if they saw somebody falling short of what they could do, they would encourage them and just push us past our limits—but not too far past,” Rivera said.

Alexa Dykeman ’27 agreed, noting that the team was able to work through the challenges.

“We would get running as a punishment, but everyone would kind of be a trooper and do it,” Dykeman said.

Athletic Director Tom Nelson said he aimed to push the team by hiring Sims and Rollins.

“I was looking to take things to a new level,” Nelson said. “We have to be more intense in our workouts, more intense in what we’re doing, but also have an understanding and a compassion to know that everyone can’t go from A-to-Z that fast. There’s got to be a step just to get there. I thought the coaches did a good job of increasing intensity, but not going overboard right away.”

Although the Gators were unable to win the IGC, players and coaches alike consider the season a huge success.

“I think we had a pretty successful season,” Dykeman said. “We had lots of wins, played well as a team, and improved as the season went on.”

Sims agrees, particularly impressed by the team’s progress throughout the season.

“It was night-and-day for the girls as a team, and we were better individually,” Sims said. “Skilled, we were better. I was very pleased with how the season went.”

As for the future, the team is optimistic.

It was night-and-day for the girls as a team.

— Head Coach Courtney Sims

“I think we have a really, really bright future,” Dykeman said. “Hopefully move up some divisions, and I think there’s definitely a chance we’ll win a couple championships.”

Sims is also hopeful for the future, citing the youthfulness of the team.

“We only have one senior,” Sims said. “I believe we only have one junior. I mean, the rest of the girls are sophomores and freshmen and eighth-graders and seventh-graders. I’m very hopeful about the future.”

For Nelson, it’s clear what he thinks this team can achieve.

“Hopefully, we’ll have some banners to hang up,” Nelson said.

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About the Contributor
Tavio Mares-Van Praag
Tavio Mares-Van Praag, Social Media Manager

Tavio Mares-Van Praag is a 9th grade student in his first year in the newsroom. He enjoys writing sports articles and opinion pieces. He is also in charge of The Gator’s Instagram page. He enjoys playing and watching soccer along with sailing, snowboarding, and basketball.

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