Girls basketball ends season with 50-50 win percentage

Julianna Poe, Sports Editor

Entering the finals for the 2019-2020 season, the Manhattan High girls basketball team stepped onto the court on March 3 on fire, defeating their opponents, Wichita Southeast, 48-36.

“We came out and had a mindset that we couldn’t let up,” junior Taylor Claussen said. “We came out strong and extended the lead by doing what we were supposed to do.”

Throughout the first half, defense on the Indians’ end was strong. However, offensive plays and turnovers proved to be a consistent struggle.

“I think a low point was definitely in the beginning when we were not as organized on offense as we should have been,” senior Emily Ostermann said. “Just speeding up the game when we needed to slow down and just see our options.”

After the half, the girls pushed through and worked together to set up the ball while continuing to secure their defensive plays. Meanwhile, they decreased their number of turnovers by eight.

“I feel like we caught our composure and we started playing our game,” senior Zanaa Cordis said. “We had seven [turnovers] compared to the 15 in the first half.”

The girls proceeded to win by 12 points, knocking eighth-seeded Wichita Southeast out of the bracket.

“It was huge,” Claussen said. “It felt amazing because now we get the chance to go play again and compete to go to State.”

Three days later, the girls were knocked off their feet, despite the confidence they had going into their game against Liberal.

“I felt like we were in a really good position,” senior Aloera Ostermann said. “I think we all had a lot of confidence in each other going into that game and we were just ready to take on whatever obstacles that we had to face.”

While traveling and turnovers contributed to much of their 20 point loss, the Indians’ persistence and strength kept them in the game.

“I would say … our biggest strength was just how far we’ve come during the season and the confidence that we had going into the game,” Aloera said. “We had all our heads up and we were ready to do whatever it takes to stay in that game and to just compete as hard as we could.”

At the buzz of the game, Manhattan fell 53-33 to Liberal, ending their season 11-11.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Aloera said. “I wouldn’t trade my teammates for any other team in the league, no matter how good they are how much talent they all think they have.”