An Astonishing Season



Lilly Reid leaps into the air for a layup. On March 11 the lady chargers played at Rupp Arena in the KHSAA state tournament against Meade County. “It’s every high school player’s dream to get to the state tournament,” Reid said.

Brandon Mudd, Staff Writer

Practice almost makes perfect. 

The Lady Chargers stepped up their game this year and had a very successful season, almost claiming the state champion title. 

This season the girls came out playing their hardest and it showed. Through practice and team bonding, they made it all the way to the state championship. Next year with the seniors gone, the team is planning for how they will play around their losses. 

At the start of the season, the girls began with the typical team bonding activities. They went to Camp Loucon where the team got to know each other much better. “We went ziplining and did a bunch of fun things together,” junior Lilly Reid said. This was just one of the many things they did.

Aside from being a close team due to all the bonding that happened in the pre-season, a big aspect that led to their success was how seriously they took their practices. “We all took them seriously. Last year, we weren’t as mature, and we goofed off some, but this year we knew where we wanted to go,” senior Gracie Merkle said. Last year, the team lost in the first round of the state tournament. This year, they were determined to progress more. 

At practices, the key focus was to build the overall team’s condition. “We really worked on our strength and conditioning a lot this year. We knew that would be a key component to our success,” senior Emma Egan said. The team was right in their assumption and their improved condition really did lead to success. 

Through all of their efforts, the team was able to have a very successful season. They made it all the way to the championship game in the state tournament where they lost to Sacred Heart, and they had a 33-5 record throughout the season. “I think we did really well especially towards the end of the season when we started playing together and to our full potential,” Egan said. Towards the beginning of the season, a lot of the players felt as if they weren’t working together as well, but as Egan described, towards the end they really came together. 

One aspect that the team utilized for their success was Merkle. “One thing that we had that no other team in Kentucky did was a six-foot-six girl, and we really utilized that and built a lot of our plays around Gracie,” Reid said. Merkle held the number one spot for the most field goals scored in the state. 

Next year, with Egan, Merkle and the other seniors being gone, the team will have to make some changes. “We’ll have to completely change the way we play. We’re going to have to play a lot faster, which is something we’ve never done before,” Reid said. Another aspect that the team will lose is leadership. “Emma has really played the role of the leader on the team and someone else is going to have to fill her shoes when she leaves,” Reid said. Leaders are important to every team and without one a team would lose its strong structure. “Everyone is just going to have to step up and do their part,” Egan said. Who will step up in what position is still to be determined, but as long as the girls maintain the same relationships they had this year and continue to be their best on the court, the future looks promising.