The varsity girls basketball team lost 31-48 against the Pioneer High School Mustangs in the second round of CCS playoffs today, February 23.
The Lady Eagles came in as heavy underdogs. As the number six seed in the playoffs, the Mustangs had the edge with a much stronger season than the Eagles–four more wins in the year and a 18-8 record compared to the Eagles’ 14-11.
The Mustangs also had the advantage of a bye week in the first round of the playoffs, which allowed them to watch the LAHS versus Aragon High School game, where they filmed, analyzed and studied the Eagles.
“They knew how we played,” forward senior Heather Sangster said. “They expected our plays.”
The game was a battle from the first to the last whistle for the Eagles. Pioneer’s scrutinizing worked, as LAHS had a hard time setting up the offense and finding open looks to the basket.
The Mustangs also had stronger match-ups on offensive and defensive sides of the ball, and the Eagles were limited and uncomfortable with their style of play throughout the game. Although the team fought and hung on for as long as it could, it could not fully play to Pioneer’s level.
“We never got into our game, we got a little bit chaotic [and were] not really focused,” Heather said. “We just couldn’t really play the way we wanted to play.”
With the help of its key player Rachel Baity, Pioneer drove well to the basket and scored high percentage shots, forcing LAHS adjust to its game plan. The Mustangs walked away victorious, winning the game by 17 points.
However, the Lady Eagles are not disappointed with their season. The team played exceptional basketball this year, displaying talent from all players all around the court to end their 18-year CCS drought.
“After four years in basketball, I don’t think we’ve had such a strong and well motivated team to work hard and win like this team this year,” Heather said.
While the Eagles look to rest and look forward for the next year, the Mustangs will now move on to face off against the number three seed, Saint Francis. The game will be held at Oak Grove this Saturday, February 25 in the CCS quarterfinals.