Athlete spotlight: Cambridge's Sophie and Lilly Phillips
The sophomore guards are the leading scorers on a Cambridge team that is currently 19-1 and is in the midst of a Class C sectional run.
The Phillips twins recently came into the Banner to discuss their success on the court, the friendships they've created and some of their off-court interests.
Bennington Banner: How has it been having the chance to play with your sister on the court?
Sophie Phillips: It's awesome being able to play with your sister because you always know where the other person is and what their strengths and weaknesses are. You'll know what type of pass she'll be able to catch and you know she'll always be there if you're in trouble or stuck.
Lilly Phillips: I like playing with Sophie a lot because we both know what we're good at and you can make the right pass in order for her to finish the way she likes to.
Banner: Does being sisters help you have a natural chemistry on the court?
Lilly: Yeah it does. It's also great because even though [Sophie] is our point guard, either one of us can take the ball too.
Banner: Your team has had tons of success over the past two years from last year when you were 25-2 and made it to the state semifinals to now where you guys won the Wasaren League title. What has led your team to such success over the past few seasons?
Sophie: A big part is how much each player on our team has played basketball. We've all played AAU. We all grew up playing Mack Attack together, so we all are very familiar with playing and with each other. The past couple years we've all split up and played on different AAU teams, but it's great because we're all getting a lot of playing time, which is really helping us all skill-wise.
Lilly: We started really young, so we all know basketball. This year especially since we've all been playing together for our whole lives.
Banner: Your starting lineup has been all sophomores and freshman all year long. Do you feel like the fact that you guys have played together so much in your careers and are friends helps you have an innate chemistry on the court?
Lilly: We're such good friends outside of sports too, so it's great because we can always help each other get better and we can always talk to each other.
Sophie: If somebody isn't having a very good game, we'll talk to each other and encourage. We all understand that if one of us yells at each other we know that we have to pick up the slack.
Banner: What are your team goals for the rest of the year? You guys made it all the way to the state semifinals last year, is the goal to get back there?
Sophie: We're trying to get back to where we were last year. It will be hard because there are some really tough teams again this year. It's going to be fun.
Lilly: We need to put in a lot of work, especially with Fiona out [Ed note: Fiona Mooney is out right now with an injured wrist]. We have to make sure that we can get far enough that if she can get back, we can use her. There's a lot of height difference for our team, since we're really small. We just need to work on boxing out because we're so small.
Banner: You've become friends with girls like Hoosick Falls' Logan Thayne and Greenwich's Molly Brophy, among others, from playing with them and as opponents. How has the game of basketball helped you create friendships outside of the girls in Cambridge?
Sophie: Logan is on our AAU team. so we're with her all the time. Molly Brophy is in the same program as us, so we're practicing against her all the time. With the [Empire State Takeover] summer league, we play on the same team as Renna [Poulin] from Tamarac, so every time we get to play all of them it's really fun and competitive. We're playing with each other and against each other.
Lilly: We've also my friendships with kids from bigger schools. A girl on Averill Park was on our AAU team and we've played a lot of girls in Class AA and A. It's really cool because a couple years ago we didn't know anything about those teams and now we know almost about one person on any team.
Banner: You guys also play soccer, is there anything about soccer season that helps you prepare for basketball?
Lilly: It definitely helps us get in shape because you're running all time. I think it's fun because you're doing something besides basketball.
Banner: What are your favorite subjects in school? Do you have any favorite teachers?
Sophie: Mine is probably math. I really like Mrs. Wright, but she moved away. We got a new math teacher, Mrs. Robinson. I really like her too right now.
Lilly: I like science and social studies. My Latin teacher is Mr. Mooney, which is Fiona's dad. He's great.
Banner: What types of music do you like? What would you be listening to going down the halls of CCS?
Sophie: We both listen to a lot of pop, but we listen to country too sometimes.
Lilly: I like Taylor Swift. I'm probably more of an old Taylor Swift type of girl. The new stuff is good, but I like the old stuff a lot.
Banner: What are some of your favorite sports teams?
Sophie: We're huge Red Sox fans. For basketball, I used to like the Cavs because LeBron was on the team and I'm a really big LeBron fan.
Lilly: I like the Thunder. And also who doesn't like Golden State?
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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