Girls basketball team looks ahead as season concludes

BY GABBY SONKIN                                                                                                                                                                                         

The girls varsity basketball team finished their season with a record of 15-9. Senior Glory Jones said this season was one she wouldn’t trade in for any other due to the adversity the players overcame.

“Because of our new coach, we were able to feel more like a team rather than collective individuals,” Jones said. “In comparison to last year, I can really see a change in the way we all interact with each other and communicate during games.”

Jones said with her new coach she is also able to play a number of different positions, which has been one of her main strengths throughout the season.

“My biggest strength for sure is my versatility; I’ve played all kinds of positions so I can shoot for the three, take it full court, or play defense on an opposing big,” Jones said. “With all of these positions, I sometimes get nervous to change midway through the game, but once I take a breath and stop thinking so much, I immediately bounce back.”

Although the players competed in a number of games, Jones said three in particular stood out to her.

“The games that really got us to the semi-regionals were against Piper [High School] in the district championships, our win against South Broward [High School] for senior night and our overtime win against Everglades [High School],” Jones said. “These three games were our most memorable ones and really reflected the season as a whole.”

Even though the team did not advance to the finals, Jones said they were thankful for the support Marjory Stoneman Douglas gave them after forfeiting on Feb. 22 due to the shooting that occurred at their school.

“During our next game, some players from Marjory Stoneman Douglas decided to come watch and support us, which really motivated us to give it our all,” Jones said.

New head coach of the team, Toccara Williams, said a major reason for her team’s success this season was everyone’s positivity and loyalty towards one another.

“My players learned early on this season that it was important to not only believe in themselves, but also in the team as a whole,” Williams said.

Because Williams is new to the Bay, she said she wants to become more involved in years to come.

“What I will improve on for next season is having a stronger relationship with the student body, community, faculty and staff to create more awareness for the girls basketball program,” Williams said.

Team captain and senior Flo Justens said the low number of seven players on the team encouraged them to work even harder.

“It was not easy in the beginning when we found out we would only have seven players on the team this entire season, but due to our close relationship, we were able to overcome many obstacles bigger teams would not have to go through,” Justens said. “One of the main obstacles was maintaining better endurance during games.”

Justens said she is is very proud of her team because although it didn’t qualify to finals, this was the furthest it had gone all four years she has played.

“I think the reason we got so far this season is due to our dedication [towards] making each one of us better players,” Justens said. “Believing in each other gave each member of the team confidence and pushed us to do big things.”

 

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