“Well what now?”
I found myself wonder that phrase as the Belt Lady Huskies fell to the Saco/Whitewater/Hinsdale Lady Panthers 56-50 in the nightcap of Thursday’s State C Girls’ Basketball Tournament. Here is why I am dead wrong to have thought that phrase.
Belt is still playing at State. Sometimes we get lulled into thinking that dreams never die and the Titanic never sank. Well it did.
All good things must come to an end much like Belt’s quest for a fourth consecutive State C Girls’ Championship trophy, but something else doesn’t have to come to an end because of one minor setback because you shoot 0 for 8 from the three point line in the first half.
Belt still has the chance to play on Saturday night at the State C Girls’ Basketball Tournament for the seven years in a row and they’ve taken home a trophy five out of those seven times. I’m no math major, so I used my calculator, and figured out that that number is 71.4 percent. The Lady Huskies have brought home a trophy from State at a higher clip than most players shoot their free throws (especially me).
To quote the older generations “Don’t throw the baby out with bathwater”. Belt is good. Belt has been good. Belt will continue to be good. Don’t forget that. One little setback doesn’t change any of that.
Tonight the Lady Huskies just got a little but unlucky. As a team that prides itself on depth, it’s almost tougher to play the opening game of a State Tournament than the later games of the tourney. It is tough to fully utilize your “platoon system” when a team is coming in with fresh legs like Saco/Whitewater/Hinsdale was tonight.
Belt gave it all on the court tonight however as they battled back after being down by 11 at halftime and as many as 15 points early in the fourth quarter. That’s when I think the Lady Huskies made their community more proud than any State Championship could.
They didn’t quit.
They battled back thanks to efforts of Bailey Cooper and Addy Martin. Cooper scored 9 of her 14 points in that final stanza connecting on three three balls. Cooper brought that A game when her team needed it the most. When the Lady Huskies were struggling to get into a rhythm on offense against the extended 2-3 zone of the Lady Panthers Cooper knocked down big shots.
In the third quarter it was Addy Martin. Martin scored 10 of her game high 21 points in that third stanza. With two juniors leading the charge the Lady Huskies nearly came back to win it. They got the game down to 5 points at one point in the second half and that “never say die” attitude of the Lady Huskies should have made their community proud.
So this year’s State Tournament won’t end up in a State Championship on Saturday night I have to believe the Lady Huskies will still be playing for a trophy. Heck the odds would say that it is in their favor to play on Saturday night and bring home a trophy on Saturday night.
So keep your head up Lady Huskies and continue to play with the heart and hustle that makes Belt very easy to root for.