Girls’ basketball: McNichol twins celebrate birthday in new fashion

Springfield >> Twin sisters Kacy and Kylynn McNichol have typically celebrated their birthday together every year. This year’s birthday was no different but it did feature a new twist – coaching against each other.
After spending many years on the same sideline coaching the AAU for the Comets and high school basketball for the Academy of Notre Dame JV team, the twins were on opposite sidelines when Springfield hosted Harriton High School in a Central League girl’s basketball contest.
When the final horn sounded it was Springfield – coached by Kylynn – getting the best of Harriton – coached by Kacy – 56-43.
“It was exciting,” said Kylynn, who is in her third year at the helm of the Cougars. “I never expected in my wildest dreams to coach against Kacy on our birthday. I was proud of my team and proud to be their coach. It was a lot of fun but at the end of the day we will always be sisters and support each other. This is a great Central League win and I thought Kacy’steam played well and fought hard. Props to her for having her team ready.”
“This was a special opportunity,” added Kacy, who is in her first year at Harriton. “Our best friends Kelly and Julie Phelan who we grew up with at Notre Dame helped plan a great 30th birthday weekend last year. We never thought that 31 would be one to remember but the Central League has helped to make this one special. We get to do what we love and be surrounded by our whole family and kids we have both coached are coming they understand our friendship just like our family.”
Leading the way for Springfield was senior Maggie O’Connell who finished with 18 points and sophomore Belle Mastropietro who added 12. Senior Sophie Grady and Christina Brown paced Harriton with 27 points and six points, respectively.
Tuesday night’s game was titled Give Back Night in which half of the proceeds raised tonight were donated to those battling Multiple Sclerosis.
“Ky was verypassionate about raising money for the MS society tonight,” said Kacy. “After11 years I was diagnosed this year. This is something I recently just sharedwith the team because my message to them is keep fighting.”
With daughters coaching both teams Mom – Mary Beth and Dad – Terry showed their support with mom sporting a Harriton ¼ zip while dad sported the Springfield sweatshirt. Surrounded by friends and family, mom and dad had a moment to step back and share in their daughter’s special moment.
“Tonight was very different seeing them go against each other since they have always played together and have coached with each other for many years,” said Mary Beth, who coached her daughters during their playing career at Notre Dame before having them join the staff for seven years. “It is extremely special to have the game on their birthday – but so weird that fate has this game tonight. We will cheer for both teams!”
One does not have look far to see where Kacy and Kylynn got their passion for the game as well as an interest to think about coaching at a young age. Their mother Mary Beth has been the head coach at the Academy of Notre Dame for 26 years while their father Terry served as the head coach at Haverford High School for 16 years before spending three years as an assistant coach at Haverford College and then three years as an assistant coach at Marple Newtown High School.
“It means the world to Kacy and I that we are able to reach out to our Mom and Dad for coaching advice,” said Kylynn. “It also means a lot that Sue Phelan and Linda Genther, our coaching role models in the basketball world along with our parents.”
Linda Genther, who has been an assistant coach at the Academy of Notre Dame for over two decades and also helped Kacy and Kylynn get their coaching start with the Comets added, “It was a proud moment seeing the two of them on the sidelines tonight. They are students of the game – grew up in a gym – always wanting to learn more. They have been coaching together for years with the Comets so the next natural step was head coaches running their own programs. They are amazing role models for their players and both Harriton and Springfield are so fortunate to have them.”
While they may be on opposite sidelines during the high school year, the Kacy and Kylynn’s passion for coaching came after getting a chance to coach one of the Comets teams during AAU.
“Linda asked us to help with one of the Comets teams and after one week I fell in love with coaching and wanted to get better and better every day,” said Kylynn. “I wanted to be successful and be able to relate and connect with the kids. After all, we are here for the kids. This is a special time in our life.”
“Coaching the Comets is where I developed my passion for coaching after a rough road in college (Neumann University) where I was unable to play,” Kacy said. “Notre Dame was home since we were five years old. Leaving NDA was one of the hardest decisions to make but after all I grew and learned so much working with Jackie Hartzell and her staff at University of the Sciences that truly prepared me for this next chapter.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply