Katy Teare and the lady Falcons join together to block a St. Bonaventure basket attempt.
By Sara Woerter
The ball thudded against the floor. The sweat dripped down their faces. Lady Falcons thundered down the court at top speed. A Lady Seraph dribbled in for a shot and began her jump toward the basket. As the ball left her hands. Lady Falcon Angel McNeeley leaped up to spike the ball toward her teammates. Falcon cheerleaders erupted with pride.
On February 18, the Frazier Mountain High School girls basketball team participated in the first round of the CIF-SS (California Interscholastic Federation, Southern Section) playoffs at the FMHS Gymnasium.
This is the second year in a row that the Lady Falcons have “made it to the dance,” their name for the playoffs. The only time before is when they won their league championships in 1998. This year, blue and silver FMHS Falcons played against the green and white St. Bonaventure Seraphs.
Coach Wayne Henderson set the team up with plays, encouraged and yelled to motivate while Assistant Coach Ben Garcia helped with strategies.
The Seraphs claimed the first points. Then freshman Jessica Pilgrim scored for the Falcons. By halftime the card was Falcons 10 and Seraphs 47. The Falcon Cheerleaders performed a sensational routine with flips, cartwheels, pyramids, roundoffs and jumps.
“It feels good. It’s a good energy and everyone is proud to have made it to the playoffs. I feel a lot of pride for the school,” said FMHS senior and Varsity Cheer Captain Eden Patton.
After halftime, the Lady Falcons kept driving hard, scoring eight more points. Maria Garcia (wife of the assistant coach and mother of player Abby Tandez) thought that the game was “great…they’re getting better. It’s a good game.” The concluding score was Falcons 18 to Seraph 64.
Coach Henderson was upset over the final score, but not discouraged. “Saint Bonnies [his name for St. Bonaventure] were a stronger team in a tough league. They recruit players. We just weren’t ready for them I guess. Some of our players were sick, too. But this is a team of the future,” Henderson said. His five starters were three freshmen, a junior and senior. He is proud of the team: “The girls never gave up, which I was happy about.”
This game concludes the season, but the legacy is not yet over. While the audience began to leave and the Seraphs sat down to untie their shoes, the Lady Falcons huddled together in the locker room for a few last words. As they concluded, they shouted “Ohana!” so loudly the gymnasium echoed and anyone who could read between the lines understood how ohana— the Hawaiian word for ‘family’— truly describes the Lady Falcons.
This is part of the February 26, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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