Girls Basketball Strikes Back

Defeating long time rival, Francis Howell High, the Spartans prepare for their next challenge: Fort Zumwalt West.

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Suzie Safi

Junior Gracie Stugart passes the ball to sophomore Trinity Matthews in their game against the Holt Indians. The Spartans defeated the Indians and since have also taken down the Francis Howell Vikings.

Winning at home is always an adrenaline rush full of screams and shouts of victory, but winning on the road is something else entirely, especially when it’s the team down Highway 94 that you beat. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the Spartan girls basketball team took down the Howell Vikings on their home court. Defeated does not encompass exactly the 49-19 beating the Vikings faced at the hands of the Spartans, but it does serve to describe the outright command the team had over the tempo of the game. For junior Gracie Stugart this authority is an important part of what goes into playing the school’s rival; authority over mind and body. 

“We were focused on taking this game [going] 1-0, and not looking at them and their record against ours because we know these rival games they’re always going to play their toughest game against us,” Stugart said. 

Wins like this really help to create a stronger team connection. Junior Monica Anderson believes that wins like this and coming out on top are the embodiment of a full team effort and true control over mindset. 

“It feels really good,” Anderson explained. “We all come together and celebrate together, and whenever we win like that everyone contributes. It’s not just one person or a couple of people, everyone contributes.” 

Teamwork and control from beginning to the end. Keeping a quick tempo from the beginning of the game to the end is preached constantly to this team, and it is a full team, bought in, effort that pulls this tempo off. If the whole team works they are successful. 

“Coach always preaches the first three minutes of the game are the most important minutes of the game because it sets the tone; the first three minutes of the first half and the first three minutes of the second half,” Stugart explained. “So right when we came out there, we kind of knew that if we kept up [the momentum] we’d be fine.” 

Heading into their game on Friday, Feb 21 against Fort Zumwalt West high school, the team is out for blood. After falling to the Jaguars at FZW earlier in the season, the Spartans are ready to come out on top and get a big win for their seniors on Senior Night. Sophomore Trinniti Matthews knows going into these last two practices before the game are crucial. 

Suzie Safi

Stugart goes up for a lay up against the Holt Indians. Through hard work the team was able to take down the Indians 47-35.

“This practice we’re going to have to work really hard and we’re going to have to bring the energy on the court,” Matthews said. “We  have to make sure that we are focused and not being distracted; we’re working on defense all the time.” 

Not only is this game a big night for the seniors, with it potentially being the last time they play on their home court, but it is also a huge night for the team as a whole. Winning this game against their only conference loss, FZW, puts them in a better position to take the conference championship title. The team is focusing on fixing the mistakes of their last game against the Jaguars and protecting their home court. 

“When we played them I would say we weren’t prepared because we were undefeated at the time and they just kind of came out and worked harder than us and it showed,” Anderson said. “I think this time around we know what’s at stake. We’re trying to win the conference championship and we’re more focused and we’re going to work harder.”