Girls beat rivals for third time, receive district title

Prior to tonight, the Lady Spartans basketball team had captured three district championship titles total. After defeating rival Francis Howell North, the team has four.

In the third match up between the the blue and silver Spartans and the black and gold Knights, the Spartans came out victorious, 37-25.

“I don’t think it matters how many times you play a team,” Assistant Coach Ron Jones said. “It’s a myth that playing a team for a third time means you’ll lose. We put up different strategies to keep [North] from scoring.”

According to senior, Sharese Jones, the team had to watch out for the two Knight shooters. By adjusting their defensive strategy, the Spartans were able to hold the Knights back and win by more than 10 points.

“We changed around our defense a little to block their two best offensive shooters,” Sharese Jones said. “If someone got out of position, we helped to balance coverage.”

Sharese Jones was one of the leading scorers on the night, scoring 12 of the 37 points. Although Sharese Jones is normally the first offensive option, senior Katy Gerler scored a total of 13 points.

“It felt really good to score a lot because I haven’t been producing points as well,” Gerler said. “It feels nice to get into that groove.”

Although Gerler stole the spotlight for most points, she tried her best to stick to the plan and get the ball to Jones. Unfortunately, because the Spartans have played the Knights before, they anticipated Jones’ skills and defended her, causing the team to rethink its strategy.

“I tried to handle and rotate the ball as best I could and get it to Sharese,” Gerler said.

This offset may have contributed to the start of the game in which no points were scored until the fourth minute.

“I thought we’d score more at the beginning; we had a terrible start,” Head Coach Brian Ricker said. “It was a little slow, but a win is a win, and we need to move on.”

Although the game started out slow, once the game picked up and the points were rolling in, the team started playing with more cohesion and desire.

“At the end, we played together as a team,” senior Haley Nolan said. “We wanted it more than they did.”

After this win, the team is focusing on their next game in sectionals, and although they don’t know who their opponent will be, they are preparing as best they can for Wednesday’s game at 6p.m.

“We are going to have to get plenty of rest, work hard and come out and practice,” Sharese Jones said.