Varsity Teams Travels to North Zone, Basketball Nearly Scrapes a Win

The basketball team was poised within four points of tying Cassidy and mere seconds remained on the clock. Freshman Samantha took possession of the ball.

“I was running down the court to get in position for a shot, and I hear everyone yell ‘SAM!’ I turn around and the ball is coming towards my face. I fumbled it a little bit, but people were yelling, ‘Shoot !’ so I just turned around and shot. And it went in! That’s never happened to me before!” Samantha said.

Samantha’s three-pointer from near half court brought the team in reach of the win, but time expired before they could get the ball back. Her basket made for symmetry with a basket scored by fellow freshman Staci, who had scored a three-point shot in the last seconds the night before in the team’s game against Holland Hall.

Staci and Samantha were far from home when their shots fell successfully in the final seconds of their games this weekend. On Jan. 20, the varsity basketball and soccer teams travelled to Holland Hall in Tulsa, Okla. and then proceeded to Oklahoma City, where they played against Cassidy on Jan. 21. The scores from both games, which were counter games, will count towards qualifying for Division 1 in the Southwest Preparatory Conference tournament.

While the basketball team encountered difficulties in their game against Holland Hall, they came within a sole point of winning their Cassidy match. The soccer team, however, won both of their games.

“Cassidy is the game we wish we had back,” Director of Athletics and varsity basketball coach Tina Slinker said. “I know [Samantha] hit that three-point shot, but I wish we’d only been down by three points… We really shouldn’t have been in that position, I don’t think.”

Although the basketball team did not receive the “W” in either match last weekend, Samantha said she could visibly see the teams’ improvement.

“We’ve gotten so much better since the season started with our first game against Highland Park,” she said. “We got smoked.”

The team is still tweaking some of their plays, she said, but these more easily fixable problems can be worked out in practice.

“We were able to build on what we had learned for our next game back at home,” sophomore Shelby said.

This statement proved true in Tuesday’s win at The Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth and in Thursday’s win at home against the Episcopal School of Dallas.

Samantha also said that the team’s coach, Slinker, has been trying to make changes, such as floating JV players to varsity if necessary, to ensure their success.

“She’s looking for people who can add intensity,” Samantha said.

A week after the games in Okla., Slinker said that the team had improved many skills since then, including their ball handling, their press defense and their man defense.

“We might be able to do a pretty good job against [Holland Hall] now,” she said, “but they’re just a pretty veteran team and we’re a younger team.”

Varsity Basketball’s record in its conference now stands at 3-3 and Varsity Soccer’s at 5-1. Both teams will play at Greenhill for their final counter games today.

– Emily