Why she was selected:
Freshman forward Josie Ness helped lead Sandwich past Herscher and Manteno last week, clinching at least a share of the program’s first-ever conference championship.
Ness had a combined 29 points, 20 rebounds and four steals in the two wins. She talked with Record sports editor Joshua Welge about the season. Here is an edited version of the transcript:
Welge: Sandwich girls basketball, conference champion. How does it feel to hear that?
Ness: It feels great. We’ve never had anything happen like this before. The wall in the gym was bare. We had a bunch of goals this season, and this was one of the highest.
Welge: How did you celebrate?
Ness: A lot of people were crying, coach was crying. We were jumping around hugging each other. [Sandwich] coach [Chris Johnson] rewarded us by going bowling [on Monday] and then he bought us pizza.
Welge: I noticed the “2018” on the wall by “girls basketball” in the gym. It’s a pretty big sign! Were you there when they put it up?
Ness: Coach Johnson gets to school pretty early. He knew the sign wouldn’t be put up in a long time, and he wanted to make it clear that we did it so he printed it out. When we got to school, he told us to go down to the gym and look up.
Welge: When did you think this accomplishment was possible?
Ness: We take it one game at a time, we don’t get overconfident. On any given day, someone can beat someone else. Peotone and Herscher are huge teams. Those were the big ones.
Welge: What have the older girls on the team taught you?
Ness: They always told me to keep your head up, coach is going to get on you but he is doing it to get you better. My sister [junior Sarah Ness] has been a great help. When I get frustrated, when I’m missing shots or missing free throws, she encourages me.
Welge: What’s the best part about playing with your sister?
Ness: The bond we have. When she’s mad, I know why. I can calm her down. If one of us has a down game, we know the other one can pick us back up. We can read each other.
Welge: When did coach tell you that you’d be playing varsity this year?
Ness: During the summer, after a game, he told me “I’m doing this to help you improve, I know you’ll help us in the future.” The first tournament we had at Somonauk, he told me that there was a JV tournament but he said “I think I need you for this one.” I had some good games and kept playing with them.