Girls’ Basketball 2018
February 26, 2018
Initially, the fans of the Des Moines East girls’ basketball team shrieked having unwavering faith that the team will conquer the second bracket’s game and potentially moving on to state. However, when the end of the first half approached, the fans dressed in scarlet switched to rage, roaring with agony as the clock ticked by, one lost second after another. Freshmen Lindsey Zelderman races toward the offensive side of the court, passing the ball to junior Jori Nieman. Nieman springs up while the ball leaves her fingertips, flying foot after foot toward the looming basketball hoop. As the blaring horn marks the end of the second quarter, another sound is indistinguishable– the swish of a three point play making it through the net.
Four freshman, seven juniors, and one senior formulate the 2017-2018 season of the Waukee girls’ basketball team. “Compared to other teams, we have three girls over six foot on our team, and no one else really in the state has girls that tall. We have very, very quick guards and very quick shooters on our team. We’re a well-rounded team,” Nieman explains.
The games are held across the state in various high schools, which means one thing for the prosperous team; a long ride there and back. Paityn Rau, a junior on the team exclaimed, “We pump up the music, and we literally just blare the music. We sing as loud as we can.” The girls take the hours to familiarize themselves with each other, chorusing the words to Pitch Perfect riff-offs. Although none of the girls are in choir…
“I would say, the things that we are striving for is to unify a group of individuals to work towards a common goal, and I think that’s what makes it fun. Like this year we have twelve girls on varsity. We take twelve different kids, different backgrounds, different talent levels; and you get them to work together, collectively on something unselfishly, [it’s] like [putting together] a puzzle,” Coach Christopher Guess explained at the very beginning of the season, “I mean, there’s a lot of sacrifice that has to come from two or three different people at one given possession in a basketball game; to allow one kid the opportunity to score. As we all know, in our media, and, a lot of times, the person who scores is the one that gets the attention. It takes a lot of very unselfish people for that to take place.” Now, team unity is going to be even more of a major factor as the Warriors advance further into the brackets.
However, becoming immediate friends with their fellow teammates was no obstacle for the Waukee team. Nieman gives readers some insight explaining, “Oh gosh. We have Halloween and Christmas parties. We usually just play games and stuff. I know we had a dance off. We’re really into Pitch Perfect so we watch Pitch Perfect all the time and just hang out and get to know each other. All of our personalities are different but we always have fun with the people we’re around.”
Saturday, February 18th, the girls had their game faces on in the first division of their bracket. Waukee annihilated Des Moines East with a 48 to 32 win. Overall, the team has won – out of – games this season.
Waukee arrived at the game with a revamped transition approach, scoring win after win. The Scarlets struggled under the grip the Warriors had on the court that day, putting the team on defense as the girls accumulated points, contributing to their exceeding win.
“I got involved with basketball because I was always so tall as a kid and everyone said I’d be good at basketball, so I went out and played. I just found a love for the game,” junior Kat Moody shared.
Playing with the young MVP’s is no laughing matter. They practice four days a week in the summer, hit the gym at 5:30 a.m. three days a week in the fall, and two and a half hours six days a week during the season. The amount of effort is without contributing the solitary time they take to improve upon their basketball skills.
All the girls interviewed said the same thing when asked on what makes the Waukee team unique; the coaches. Guess, who teaches, is incredibly devoted to the team and spends most of his hours in the field house. “There’s a lot of work that goes into being successful. I mean there’s a lot of hours and summers and lifting and conditioning; there’s just so many variables. We always expect to win, we always expect to be successful. But, you know, you never know until you actually play.” Of course, the unknown is just another aspect the team works that much harder towards preparing for.
The game ended with the Waukee girls’ basketball team having a 48 to 73 loss against Johnston. Last time the team had a game against Johnston, the Warriors left with a one point difference, marking Johnston as the champions. Unlike the last game, this was a major loss with the team having a twenty-five point difference.
The turnout for the game was quite shocking, with several of the students dressed in their ‘kee pee costumes. Another individual, Max Tweeten, came into the game accompanied with a pink flamingo, inflated at his waist. The student body tossed black streamers into the air, and white rags waved in support.