Falling short

Facing the number one seeded team in the district, the girls basketball team left weeping after its defeat. The team had advanced to the state semifinals last year and fell early in the postseason to Fort Zumwalt South, 55-39 with a record of 11 wins and 16 losses.

Senior Grace Wade was taken out of the game after a fall near the end of the first quarter. After laying on the court in pain, trying to decide if she was able to continue playing, Wade decided the fall had caused her serious pain and she needed a break. Being out nearly the whole game impacted the team because they could not count on Wade, one of their senior starters.

“It sucked. It was the worst time for this to happen and it really hurt us. I really wanted to get back in the game,” Wade said.

After the injury, junior Mary Kate Berck took Wade’s spot for nearly all of the remaining game, joining the rest of the predominantly young team to finish the game. Coach Brian Ricker knew Wade’s fall had left a hole to fill for the team.

“I was hoping she could come back and she tried, but she was pretty limited at the point where she couldn’t help us much,” Coach Ricker said. “All season, the kids showed a lot of character because of Kristin [Warncke’s] injury and Grace’s knee and the younger kids were having to make up for them.”

The team started the game strong with an eight point lead after the first quarter, but slowly fell each quarter. The girls could not hold their lead through the second half without Wade, ending with a defeat.

“We started real well, attacking the basket. The other team went to a zone defense because they couldn’t stop our scoring in the first quarter,” Coach Ricker said. “The girls played hard and pretty well, but in the fourth quarter they ran out of gas.”

After the game, the team focused on the season as a whole, discussing their mistakes as well as the bond they built through all of the injuries.

“It was really tough [to lose Wade] because she was a senior and a captain, kind of like a sister going down,” sophomore Lauren Nosal said. “ After the game we just needed a moment to breathe. I am just thankful for the seniors because we had great leadership.”