Girls basketball advances to regionals

Coach McDonald and the Girls varsity basketball wins the district championship for the first time in 19 seasons

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Girls basketball advances to regionals

The team pictured after winning the district finals.

The team pictured after winning the district finals.

Dianne O'Connor

The team pictured after winning the district finals.

Dianne O'Connor

Dianne O'Connor

The team pictured after winning the district finals.

Evan Gray and Magan Leitermann

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For the first time in a long time, both boys and girls varsity basketball both played in districts and played at a high caliber throughout the seasons.

“We have been preparing the way we always do, by working hard and focusing on the next opponent,” coach Tom McDonald said. “Every season is a challenge because you’re always striving to be better.”

First game of the playoffs was against Stoney Creek on March 4 and the girls started out with a very strong start and kept that going through the whole game. The final score of the game was 37-30 with the Chieftains coming out on top.

“We have been so focused all season and we had a really big drive this season,” sophomore Leah Remy said. “We all also get together and get focused for the games together, the team is a family and it’s a great environment to be on.”

The girls basketball team progressed into regionals after their outstanding 55-48 win against Troy on March 8. This win led to their first district title since 2000.

“It felt so great because we haven’t won anything big in so long,” senior Mone’ Knowles said. “We practiced two to three days a week prior and after we beat Stoney it started getting more and more intense. Everyone felt more mentally ready for the game.”

This was also a staple year for coach Tom McDonald because he hit the milestone of 300 career wins and he continued that winning spirit throughout the season and it helped propel him and his team into districts.

“It feels great to win a district title anytime or anywhere,” McDonald said. “But this time is extra special because it’s been so long since the last one.”

The girls also went on to the final district championship game against Lakeview High School and even though the girls fought hard throughout the whole game, it wasn’t enough and the game was over with a final score of 46-26 with Lakeview on top.

“This was a very emotional loss,” Knowles said. “It was so hard to take because this was the only time this team made it that far and I didn’t want the season to end, I don’t think anyone else on the team did either.”

The team this year was closer then ever, according to the teammates, and they felt their good team chemistry was helping them win games.

“It was a great feeling to be able to make it that far with my closest friends, who happen to be my teammates,” junior Maya Narusch said. “We worked really hard throughout the off season and for it to finally pay off was a really good feeling.”

It had been 19 years since the last time the districts finals were won by the Chieftains and that same year they won they ended up winning the state finals.

“It was so exciting and I was very anxious to see how everyone was going to play, both on our team and theirs,” junior Mary Goepper said. “It’s crazy that this was the first time in 19 years that we won the district and it was a great feeling to be able to be the next team to bring the trophy home.”

Many of the seniors on the team also looked at these playoffs as a “last ride” of sorts and it was an emotional trip for them throughout the regular season and playoffs.

“It was bitter sweet saying it was my last year,” senior Cayley Ebeling said. “I enjoyed every moment of this season and the great thongs we’ve accomplished, but I’m sad it’s over.”

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