Varsity basketball girls play up team chemistry in games


Head coach Andy Unrein first noticed his team’s capability for success at the end of the 2008-2009 school year.

“I knew they’d be talented even with losing the seniors,” he said. “I just knew they had the tangible parts necessary to be good.”

After making it to the first round of the state tournament, BV lost by 11 points to Olathe South.

However, it would take more than a loss at state to damage the friendships made between the girls.

Unrein said the thing about this team that sets them apart from others he’d coached is how well they get along.

“There aren’t any personality clashes, which can be hard to say about 18 girls,” he said.”They spend a lot of time together. A lot of them were on JV or varsity when they were younger, so they have more years around the same kids.”

Senior Lauren Wormington said she felt the team was lucky in what types of girls made the team, which aided in the team bonding.

“There was no butting heads,” she said. “As seniors we did a good job of doing this as a team off the court, like team dinners and team sleepovers.”

These activities helped promote closer friendships.

“I have done things like this in other teams, but those were mandated by the coach,” sophomore Taylor Leathers said. “We did these just to hang out. We didn’t have to talk about basketball. It was just like hanging out with friends but more fun.”

The girls spent time together on and off the court, going to other school events as a group.

“We all went to S.W.I.T.C.H. together,” Leathers said. “It made it 10 times more fun with all the basketball girls together, just having a blast. We don’t care if we look like fools while we’re dancing together.”

Even with the loss of the seniors, Leathers said she doesn’t feel the team will lose the compatibility in future teams.

“We’ll miss them but we have to carry on without them,” she said. “We’ll take qualities they had and try to pull them out of ourselves. They lead without being negative in any way. They tell us what we should do, not [what we] have to do, and we listen.”

Though the team fell short of winning state, Wormington said she couldn’t be happier with how her final season at BV turned out.

“I feel so good about this season,” she said. “Yeah, we lost in state but it was a huge accomplishment to make it to state.”

Senior Nicole Berry has mixed feelings about her last season with the team.

“It was bittersweet,” she said. “We did lose but I was glad at how far we’d come.”

Wormington thinks the tight-knit atmosphere will help continue BV’s success.

“I think team bonding and chemistry are important,” she said. “We need to emphasize the importance of no drama and to always be working hard.”

Berry hopes future BV teams will continue to receive the support their team got this year.

“I loved the fact that the band played at so many games,” she said. “I hope that continues and I hope the teams still get the crowds we got. I hope they [the players] are all devoted.”

Berry said the closeness is what helped them achieve their goals.

“It is what helped us win games,” Berry said. “I definitely think the friendships we made will carry on through the years. I know some girls I won’t lose touch with.”

 by Maegan Kabel.