Girls basketball exits first round in defeat


Lovejoy Girls Basketball

The girls basketball team poses for a picture before heading to their round one matchup against Red Oak. The team ended their season with a 17-17 record.

On Friday, the girls basketball team went head to head in the first round of the playoffs against Red Oak. The Hawks were 19-10 on the season entering the game and were going into the matchup with a ten game winning streak. Red Oak came out victorious with a 51-35 win, ending the Leopards season with a 17-17 record. 

Obviously the game didn’t have the outcome we planned on having, but we definitely gave our all and bought into the game plan the whole entire time,” senior guard Samantha Basson said. “With the new coaching staff, it made it 10 times easier to make a statement and improve throughout our program. Creating a new culture was a big thing this year, and our team was able to do so with the success we made after the last couple years.

The girls finished their season with a 6-6 district record and a 5-6 record at home. 

“The season overall was good as a team,” senior guard Chloe Schaeffer said. “We played a lot better than we have since I’ve been in the program with a better record and more wins.”

Despite the season ending in defeat, the Leopards hit milestones with their best district record since the 2017-2018 season and reached the playoffs for the second year in a row. 

“The season overall was by far the best one yet,” Basson said. “It went by way too quickly, and I never thought my senior year would come this quick. We’ve gotten so close this year and truly felt like a family. We grew as individuals from everything we went through as a team.”

Senior Aaliyah Halstied led the team in 72 assists this season, while senior Basson was a close second with 70. In addition, Basson led the team with 15.2 points per game along with 2.3 steals.

“We didn’t come out strong enough in the first half,” Schaeffer said.  “By the time our heads were in it ready to play, it was too late and we played the whole second half from behind. The season overall was good as a team. We played a lot better than we have since I’ve been in the program with a better record and more wins.”

Even with the season ending in the first round, the team is looking forward to what is to come. Seniors Halstied, Basson, Schaeffer, Kendall Dodson, Annalysa Ritchie, Margo Friloux, Audrey McCaffity, Linnea Maddux and Shelby Tokarz will graduate in months to come, leaving room for the team to rebuild next season.

The future of the team still looks good, but it’s going to be hard at first because there won’t be many girls with varsity experience,” senior Kendall Dodson said. “Red Oak challenged us because they played at a very fast and intense pace. They were very physically defensive and offensive.”