“This team is very, very close. I think that is what makes us so special.”

Despite Covid quarantines and empty stands, girls basketball advances to sate playoffs


Gaby Morales

Junior Karis Coleman dribbles past a Clarston defender during a game in February. The team advanced to the second round of the state playoffs this season.

Chloe Dierkes and Elizabeth Nark

The thought of high school basketball conjures up images of crowded stands, rowdy teens, and all star athletes swishing threes to their peers’ amusement. But due to covid-19, this season was completely different. The girls varsity basketball team had to overcome many obstacles this year including playing to empty stands, enduring quarantines, and facing tough teams in the playoffs. 

Junior Alexa Kenah explained that one of the team’s biggest challenges was being quarantined during the season. Kenah said, “As a team, we were quarantined twice and had to completely shut down practices and games which was not ideal. It was hard having to take two weeks off in the middle of the season, but I would say we handled it pretty well and it didn’t take us long to pick up where we left off.” 

Senior Lindsey Broadway also thinks that the team handled the quarantines extremely well.

“The COVID-19 quarantines have been huge for our team,” she said. “Being quarantined for just two weeks can really make players out of shape, but we handled them fine, in my opinion.” 

Even though the girls lost in-person practice time, the team was determined to stay in shape and stay on top of their game. 

Sophomore Alex Schiavo said, “The first time we were quarantined, since it was the beginning of the season, we Zoomed once just to go over logistics for the season. Other than that, I think Coach Snipes trusted us to practice on our own.” 

More important this year than ever was strong leadership on the team. Several leaders emerged to lead the team through the numerous challenges they faced. 

When asked about leadership, Kenah thinks that all of the seniors rose to the occasion and led the team well.  She said, “I think all of the seniors did a great job leading our team. It’s honestly a group effort. There isn’t one person who takes charge all of the time. Everyone has different roles and feeds off of each other when it comes to leadership.” 

Junior Kate McBride, like Kenah, agrees that there isn’t a sole leader on the team, but many leaders all working together. 

“I feel that there is not just one team leader,” she said. “We have a lot of upperclassmen, so it’s honestly a collective effort. Anna Elizabeth gives us pep talks in the huddle before the game. Lindsey leads by example by always working hard. Georgie, Alexa, and I give directions from the bench when we see people are a little lost during plays. We work together and that, in my opinion, is why we are so successful.” 

Everyone on the team exhibited strong leadership this season, which helped them get so far in the playoffs. 

The team has been strong the past two years, and they’re only more successful this season. As more games were won, the girls started to realize their building success. 

As Broadway said, “I think that I really knew we were successful when we beat Grayson and Jefferson. Our schedule was generally light toward the beginning of the season, so Coach Snipes scheduled some better teams to prepare us for the state tournament. We were really excited to play better teams and ended up beating both Grayson and Jefferson.” 

McBride attributes the victories to the team’s close relationship.

“I think coming into the season a lot of us had hopes for a winning season,” she said. “We had won the Region Championship the year before and we only lost two seniors, so there were a lot of returners which is a really good thing.”

As Broadway said, “This team is very, very close. I think that is what makes us so special.”

“Our team this year has had a strong bond,” Kenah added. “Most of us have played together for at least two years, some almost six, so we all know each other pretty well on and off the court. We spend so much time together that it would have been hard not to create bonds on the team.”

The girls had their first game in the state playoffs on February 23, playing Clarke Central.

“Since we are now in the State Tournament, it’s win or go home,” McBride said.  “Our losses are in the past and we were faced with a one-game season every time we play. At this point we are just taking it one game at a time, prepping for each team we play to the best of our ability, and giving them all we got. This being said, the goal is to make it as far as we can and the only way we can do that is by sticking to the plan and doing what we know how to do.”

The season ended in the second round in a close 43-40 loss to Hiram February 27. Their last game was on Saturday, February 27, when they lost to 43-40. Sophomore Kelly Stephenson said, “I thought we did and I thought we worked really hard and tried our best and we just came up a little short at the end but we had a really good season. It’s just sad it ended there.” 

“I feel like the hustle was definitely there,” McBride said. “There were a lot of loose balls and we hit the ground every time for them but we got flustered probably in the second quarter. We let the game get a little bit out of control, so that was definitely on us. If I could go back, we’d probably try to settle the team and just stick to the game plan more than we did this time, but I think if we were to play them again now we’d definitely kick their butts.” 

Although the sad loss brought about an end to the season, the girls are determined to fight hard next year and win state.