Bball Bounces Back
February 13, 2015
The girls’ basketball team has stepped up this season to fill the shoes of last year’s graduated upperclassmen, with winning results.
“We lost three seniors last year that really played important roles on our team, but this year a lot of underclassman really stepped up and we’re becoming such a well-rounded team,” junior guard Brooke McAllister said.
Senior guard KK Barbour agreed that the young, “talented” team is “filled with so much potential. Sometimes I don’t think we realize how much potential we have. We are a very unselfish team that gets along very well together, which makes us different than any other team in our district or conference.”
The team recently defeated Western Albemarle and Orange, contributing to their 12-9 season record. Barbour, however, felt that “our greatest victory thus far was probably a game that we did not actually win. Early on in the season we played MHS [Monticello] and we played them better than anyone has in the district. We lost at the end [36-44] because of a couple turnovers and controversial fouls calls, but in the end we did not feel defeated at all.”
She added that “we played great defense, got them in foul trouble, and really scared a team that thinks that they are unbeatable. That was, in my opinion, one of the best games we have ever played against MHS.”
For McAllister, “it’s really cool being able to watch my teammates improve their basketball skills at practice every day, but it’s even cooler to see how the things Coach [Rachael] P[roudfoot] implements into our practices about having good character really become evident in our lives.”
According to McAllister, “we have this curriculum this year called “Power Within” where each letter stands for a character trait and every week we go through how we can become better people.Seeing our team becoming better people on and off the court has definitely been the best thing about basketball.”
This commitment to improvement both on and off the court has yielded noticeable results for the team. “We have improved a lot with our defensive intensity by winning every hustle play, holding teams to 45 points or less, and executing our numerous amount of presses to perfection against our opponents,” Barbour said.
“I think one of the biggest goals that our team had was to just fight through adversity and exhaustion to make ourselves better, but also to push ourselves and make our teammates better,” McAllister said. “I absolutely think that our team had achieved this goal already because we work so hard every day and we all push each other to be the best we can be.”
Sophomore guard Anne Ridenhour agreed that “the best part about playing basketball is getting to work with a group of girls who you are so close to and seeing each other succeed.”
“Our team is really spirited!” McAllister added. “We get really hype and super crazy before games and love going all out for spirit. A lot of us have other favorite sports, but when it’s basketball season it’s really hard to tell because everyone on the team is so passionate about the game and determined to get better.”
A notable moment of the season was Barbour’s record-setting shot against Orange on Jan. 6. Barbour broke Albemarle basketball’s previous career record of 1354 points within the first seven seconds of the game.
For Barbour, “it was an exciting moment to break the scoring record, but that was not the main focus. We just wanted to beat Orange, an up and coming team, at their own house.”
“I was very thankful for the people that drove all the way down to Orange to witness this moment,” she said, “and I am also thankful for my teammates and family for allowing me to have that moment. It was pretty sweet.”
Barbour plans to play basketball for Liberty University next fall. “I have dreamed of playing in college since I was 12 and now that it is really going to happen,” she said. “I am so excited. I am looking forward to meeting new people and gaining more sisters from the basketball team. It is going to be a lot different than high school but I am so ready for the challenge. “
Barbour and the Lady Patriots will compete in the District tournament this weekend.