Girls varsity basketball has high hopes for the season with many experienced returners


A final second free throw ended the 2016-17 season for the girls varsity basketball team, as Forest Hills Northern went on to win the District Finals game with that shot. The Lady Rangers had a rough start to last year’s season, going 1-7 in their first eight games. They were then able to bond as a team, adjust to their first-year coach, and go on to have a winning season, tying for second place in the OK white conference.

“Our season last year might not have looked amazing on paper, but the work we put in and the stuff behind the scenes was an accomplishment to be proud of,” senior Emma Yoder said, who sees last year as an opportunity to build.

With two of last year’s starters graduating, there were some key openings in the line-up coming into tryouts this year. However, with losing only two team members, the remaining players prove to have a lot of experience. This year’s team is carrying six seniors, four juniors, and one freshman.

“We definitely lost two key members of our team last year and it will be tough to replace them,” junior Claire Baguley said as she prepares for her third year on the varsity team. “However, I think we can make up [what we lost] with the talent coming from the JV team last year and in our one freshman.”

With only a few practices so far, there is already clear differences in this year’s team compared to last. The bonding is unprecedented, which will help the team come out stronger than last year.

“I think this year we can be really good,” Claire said. “With seven returning varsity players and a coach we all know, I think our team chemistry will be a major part of our success.”

Another difference in this year’s team is that the head coach now has a year of experience under her belt.

“I think [this season] is going to go well; I’m really excited,” Head coach Kristina Prins said. “It’s my second year, so I feel like we know each other a lot better [and] we only have a couple new girls, so they already know my expectations.”

The players have high hopes for this season, setting out to win both the conference and Districts. They also hope to get revenge on FHN for edging them out in last year’s District title.

“I am really excited to play Northern this year,” Claire said. “The overtime loss in the District Finals on a last second free throw left a bad taste in our mouths and the game this year will be a very intense battle.”

Another important game for the team will be on January 19th, in the annual basketball fundraiser game.

“[This year the game is] a mental health awareness game, which is kind of different from the usual, but we are super excited about it,” said Emma, who is also in charge of planning the game.

With so many seniors on the roster, this is a special year for the girls varsity basketball team. The players entering their final year have already had a different approach in the early practices. They realize the lasts are starting and have decided to give everything to every game.

“Going into my last high school basketball season definitely has me feeling a little sentimental,” Emma said. “It is crazy to look back at all of the crazy, fun, and amazing things that have happened. I’m really looking forward to my last season, and I have a lot of high hopes.”