Although Columbia Public Schools were not in session on Monday, Jan. 20, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the RBHS varsity girls basketball team continued to work hard on their day off. The girls battled it out in a shootout against Whitney Young (IL) in St. Louis, and pulled a close victory in the end with a final score of 54-48.
Though the entire team played a crucial part in the victory, varsity player junior Cierra Porter believes the win came about because of a concentrated effort in a specific part of the team.
“Our team played really great defense,” Porter said, “and that way we got the stops that we needed to at the end to win the game.”
Porter’s team member, senior Chayla Cheadle concurs with Porter’s suggestion and believes the resiliency of the defensive players truly secured the win for the RBHS team. This defensive determination paired with a hard-hitting offense fortified the victory against Whitney Young, the No. 24 ranked team in the country.
“The major highlights for the team were our intensity on defense and being able to keep our composure down the stretch when things didn’t go our way,” Cheadle said. “And then we also hit big shots when we really needed them.”
The coordination the varsity girls displayed in harmonizing their offense and defense during this game was truly eminent to all members of the team, according to Cheadle. She says she noticed the team’s organization has come a long way, and this game showcases their best efforts.
“I thought our team played excellent, and this was by far one of our strongest games with our chemistry with one another,” Cheadle said. “I felt we came together as a team, and not once did we fall apart, and I felt each person stepped up a lot and made it a key point to do their role.”
Porter explains, in conjunction with Cheadle’s experience, that all the practice and focus that each team member displayed contributed to the overall fact that the whole team was able to complement one another in terms of their skills.
“We all played really well together as a team, and everyone did exactly what they needed to do,” Porter said. “Also, everyone played super hard, and it was obvious that we really wanted to win.”
The fact that everyone played with their utmost effort made the varsity girls play more like a team. Porter believes that there could be some room for improvements, but the overall result of the game proved the fact that she and her teammates possess a sort of chemistry with one another that Cheadle believes was a decisive factor leading to the win.
“I also felt that [our chemistry] played a huge role in the win,” Cheadle said. “We stuck together as a team the whole team and fought till the end, and that’s what families do.”
By Manal Salim
The Lady Bruins (12-2) are ranked No. 12 nationally. They are 2-2 this season in games against other nationally ranked opponents. They play at home Friday against Edwardsville (IL).