Basketball misses out on championship

By Maarten Van-Genabeek
Published: March 2010

The Girls’ Basketball team, despite their talented core of juniors, experienced an early exit from this year’s playoffs, losing 61-54 to Wellesley High School.

Photo By Jenna Marks

The score went back and forth and the two teams appeared to be evenly matched, but in the fourth quarter, Wellesley pulled away. “We knew Wellesley would be a very tough game, and we are upset our season ended that way, junior Chloe Rothman said.

Fresh off a 64-50 win over Needham High School, South looked to continue its dominance.

At the time, a state championship was indeed reachable.

However, to the dismay of the team, Wellesley outplayed the Lions late in the second half. “They were a strong team that played hard the entire game, junior Semira Haghayeghi said.

Falling to inconsistency, the Girls’ Basketball team beat itself, as the team failed to knock down important shots at crucial points in the game.

“We didn’t play our game, junior Kendall Burton said. “When we play a strong team like Wellesley, there will be a negative outcome.

The loss was disappointing, as the team had a lot of potential going into the postseason.

Made up of a core of close-knit juniors, the team chemistry was flowing as they picked apart almost every team in the Dual County League.

“Our team chemistry this year was by far the best out of my three years playing at South and it’s only going to get better during the offseason, Haghayeghi said.

The confident-style basketball the team plays demoralizes opponents, as they can score from almost anywhere.

The team’s confidence was on display in the beginning of the fourth quarter, but consistent scoring from Wellesley made the team force shots. Wellesley took advantage of this, and pulled away with the win.

The girls were heartbroken by this loss, but have converted their pain into motivation.

“It was a tough loss, but we learned from it. We’re going to work hard in the offseason to make sure it doesn’t happen again, Haghayeghi said.

The loss, however, was only a small stain on the success that the Girls’ Basketball program has achieved in recent years.

The team, consisting mostly of juniors, will only lose two seniors and will continue to put their star players on the court next season.

Another boost for the team has been Coach Sam Doner. Since Doner arrived last year, the team has qualified for two consecutive state tournaments.

“I am pumped for next season. We all know exactly what we need to work on so we will be that much better next year, junior Sophie Bikofsky said. “With another year of experience under our belt, nothing should stop us.

The girls plan to be one of the top contenders in the state again and have already started practicing for next year.

It is very possible that if the team works out its kinks in the offseason, the squad could very well be State Champions next season.

The outlook appears to be promising, considering the team’s talent and potential.

“I really do think next year we can realistically win the state tournament [next season], Doner said at Sports’ Awards Night.

Next season will be the last year in which the core has a shot at winning the state tournament.

The Girls’ Basketball team has the potential to be one of the favorites in the 2011 state tournament, but cannot win unless its talented players learn how to close out games.

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