Balling Up

Varsity Team Grew Closer in Order to Achieve Team Goals

Balling+Up

Bridget Epstein and Maddie Reed

When the five varsity starters set foot on the court for their home opener game against BV Northwest, it wasn’t about just them. It didn’t matter if senior Camryn Gossick made 19 points throughout the game, or how fast senior Kathleen Stanley learned the other team’s plays. It was about connecting, and playing as a whole team — from the starters to the last one on the bench. 

As the clock ran down and the last basket was shot, the girls took the win and beat the huskies 51-33. The team was ready to pick up where they left off last season, and begin a new winning record.

“It should be a good season,” junior Reese Althouse said. “We came off of a good season last year. It was the first winning record for Lawrence, and we can build off of that to keep the program going in the right direction.”

But it was going to take more effort than just using their ShotTracker to keep their individual statistics, or studying their playbooks after practices. They had to play for each other, not themselves. Even if they knew they weren’t going to get minutes on the court during game time. 

Going into the season, head coach Lauren Lawrence planned to continue the team traditions that brought the girls closer like secret sister. Each girl hid a goodie bag in a player’s locker on the day of a game. Senior Camryn Gossick always knew what she was getting each time. A box of CheezIts and a blue Gatorade.

 And at the end of a long week of practices and games, the girls voted for the nail and glue awards, while giving their highs and lows of the week. After laughing about junior Megan Biles’ low of her parents taking away her Amazon Alexa, Lawrence announced the winners that week. Some players, like Althouse and senior Elizabeth Long, won the awards of hardest worker and person who groups the teams together two weeks in a row. 

“You can sense a connection with the girls,” Lawrence said. “Off the court translates to on the court, and we have really great chemistry right now.”

Through secret sister, voting for the nail and the glue and meeting up on weekends at Health House to work out together, the girls learned how to push one another to do better — whether they were playing or not. 

At practices, when it was time for the 50 touches drill, the girls kept up their intensity by trying their best to win. They counted on each other to be competitive and push their teammates to play harder, but they also wanted to win the rebounding battle during games so they didn’t have to run sprints at practice. 

Their season wasn’t only about developing their skills individually. It was about coming together to grow and to win as a team. The girls were able to compete at a high level and accomplish what they set out for — a winning streak. 

“We have a lot of leadership and we can count on everyone to do their part,” Gossick said. “We don’t have to pick up the slack for other people because everyone on the team is accountable.”