It’s not the first time that sisters have played on the same Fontbonne basketball team. But it’s a first for freshmen and identical twins Lucy and Tess Kuhlmann to quickly become the dominant scoring leaders of this season’s JV team. Of the team’s 446 points in its first 10 games, the twins have scored 223, or exactly half.
With the addition of the twins and a new coaching staff, the JV has a whole new look. After the retirement of longtime head coach Bob Atanasio last season, former varsity head coach Steve Oliver reached out to Brittany McDonough, who played with his daughter Jill. As a 1,000-point scorer on the championship 2010 PSAL Leon M. Goldstein High School team, McDonough’s achievement gave her an opportunity to play on scholarship for Chestnut Hill College.
Joining McDonough as her assistant coach is Chanel Jermot, another Goldstein 1000-point scorer (in 2012), who went on to have a standout basketball career at Brooklyn College.
According to McDonough, the twin sisters can put points on the board with either a long three-pointer, a mid-range jumper or with a hard-driving lay-up. Playing together since they were 6, the twins honed their skills by playing with a hoop in front of their Rockaway home and then at the famed St. Francis de Sales basketball program, which has sent scores of players to Fontbonne over the years.
Individually, Lucy has scored 124 points, with her high game of 25 points coming against Moore Catholic High School. After coaching her and accessing the league’s competition, McDonough believes that Lucy is one of the top point guards in the division. As for sister Tess, who has 97 points and a high game of 16 points against St. Joseph Hill, McDonough sees the younger twin as the most versatile player on the team because she plays small forward as well as guard.
Although the twins have made an impact on the team and are generally supportive of each other, “sisters will be sisters,” according to McDonough. “When they’re not bickering with each other over their assignments on the court, they manage to pull it together to give us a good game.”