Girls basketball gains traction, advances to second round of section playoffs

Last night, the girls varsity basketball team emerged victorious in round one of the section 4AA basketball tournament. Taking on the No. 14 seed Math and Science Academy, the team secured a 57-30 win and will advance to the next round.

Right after the jump ball, the starting lineup, consisting of captains Naomi Straub and Lindsay Browne, junior Catherine Hooley, sophomore Naomi Kempcke, and freshman Madelyn Moser brought energetic offense. After Straub won the tip-off, the Spartans started shooting at every opportunity in hopes of getting an early advantage.

 

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With the future of their season being determined by this game, both teams felt the pressure and were lacking patience in the first few minutes of the game. Soon, the Spartans fell into a rhythm and were connecting passes well, resulting in a 10-2 lead by the seventh minute.

After scoring a basket and bringing the Spartans up 12-2, ninth-grader Julia Taylor was involved in a forceful collision in the ninth minute. Athletic Trainer Anne Hutchins examined her while the game was delayed 20 minutes as coaches and players awaited the arrival of paramedics to escort Taylor from the building.

Clearly shaken by the unexpected injury, the teams resumed play at 7:40 p.m. Though they initially struggled to refocus, both teams were soon back to playing with aggression and intensity.

At halftime, the Spartans were up 31-8, with Hooley quickly scoring a three-pointer and increasing the lead as soon as the clock started running. Hooley led the team with 17 points and has proved to be a consistently high scorer for the team this season, tallying 15+ points in multiple games. Kempcke and Browne followed with 13 and 11 points.

As the lead deepened, starters rotated out more frequently and many underclassmen were able to get their names on the scoreboard as well, with eighth-grader Clare Ryan-Bradley scoring four points, freshman Natalie Waibel scoring three, and sophomore Ayla Rivers scoring two.

It felt great to get our first section win, especially at home.”

— Captain Lindsay Browne

Aggression and speed were key to the Spartans’ win, and even as the clock reached the final minutes, their energy was unwavering.

“It felt great to get our first section win, especially at home. After the game started up again in the first half, we were able to reset and play more of our game, with fewer turnovers and more connections between players. It was a well-earned win,” Browne said.

After an impressive performance, the team will take on No. 6 seed Concordia Academy in an away game on Mar. 3 at 7 p.m. for the second round of the tournament.