Girls varsity basketball loses state to Maize

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Girls varsity basketball loses state to Maize

Zac Johnson, Entertainment Editor

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For the first time since 2011, the BVNW girls varsity basketball team took a trip to state. This is the first year the team has attended state with head coach Brian Bubalo.

The team was seeded eighth in the state tournament and played Maize high school for their first and only game, which was seeded first.

The game started out fast paced, and both teams came out scoring back and forth. The BVNW team had trouble shutting down Keiryn Swenson, the number two ranked player in Kansas. The size disadvantage of Swenson and other Maize players was one of the main reasons for the loss.

“We really had to have [Mya Mertz] in there just because of the size disadvantage,” Bubalo said. “When she picked up her third foul that really hurt us. But even though we may not have had that advantage, we had players like [Lade Adepoju] willing to make some drives to get us back in it.”

At the end of the first quarter, BVNW trailed Maize 13-15, but gradually Maize was able to widen their lead, leading 19-26 at half. The lead kept growing, and BVNW hit very few shots during the second part of the game.

“At the beginning we were playing really good and hard,” senior Lade Adepoju said. “But then during the second quarter we started playing worse and that’s when we really lost it.”

Adepoju said that even though Maize had won 24 games and lost none, all she really wanted to do was be the team that beat them.

“I really wanted to beat them so I started really hard and I guess just like the team, after a bit I just wasn’t playing as well,” Adepoju said.

After the third quarter, BVNW trailed Maize 25-38, and the outcome of the game seemed to be mostly decided. The team was only able to score five more points in the last quarter, while Maize scored 11. The final score was BVNW 30, Maize 49.

“We really hope to build on this,” Bubalo said. “Last year’s team got us to a level of competitiveness that we needed to be at, and then this year’s team got us to a winning record. We finished in the upper division of the conference, and we ended up winning substate. We would like to get around 15 wins each season and continue making it to the state tournament, and then hopefully start winning games here.”

The girls team will be losing six seniors next year, many of them being starters.
“There’s going to be a lot of holes to fill,” Bubalo said. “That’s a lot of leadership, a lot of effort, a lot of commitment, and dedication, and a lot of practice time. It’ll be hard to replace and it’s only going to come by girls who are already getting ready for next season.”