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By Jay Maturi
The girls basketball team entered this season with a young roster. After losing three seniors, the team was led by lone senior Natalie Nickless. However, with the help of transfer guards Brooke Andrus and Haley Tomlinson, as well as returning juniors Lily and Lucy Snyder and sophomore all-star Lindsey Syrek, the girls team was optimistic about this season.
The girls started off strong with a 5-1 record, defeating notable rivals in Park Tudor and Brebeuf Jesuit in that run. However, in their first of four games against rival Bethesda Christian, they lost 56-58 in overtime.
But this loss did not deter them. By December 21, the girls team was 11-2, as they travelled to Bankers Life Stadium and defeated Seton Catholic handily. After defeating Bethesda Christian 59-52 in their second game against them, the team then posted a season-high 91 points against Indianapolis Scecina Memorial, led by Natalie Nickless with 23 and Brooke Andrus with 22 points. During this game, Natalie Nickless broke the school record for most 3-pointers made in school history (for both boys and girls basketball)!
After a series of difficult, but close losses against Guerin, Tri-West, and Bethesda, the girls entered sectionals with a respectable 14-7 record. After two strong performances against Indianapolis Metropolitan (90-23) and the Indiana School for the Deaf (63-50), the team was set to play Bethesda Christian in the final. After a 1-2 split against Bethesda during the regular season, the girls team knew that they would need to bring their A-game to win the championship. And they did.
Led by Natalie Nickless’ 15 points in the first half off of 50% shooting from the arc, a double-double from Lindsey Syrek with 22 points, and another 16 points from Lily Snyder off of 100% shooting from the arc, the girls team defeated Bethesda 74-55 to clinch the sectional championship! Both Natalie Nickless and Lindsey Syrek were named to the All-Sectional 1st Team and Lily Snyder was named to the All-Sectional 2nd Team for their performance. Additionally, Lindsey Syrek averaged a double-double for the entirety of the season with 18.8 PPG and 14.3 RPG.
The girls now face Jac-Cen-Del in the Regional Semifinals at 12:00 PM on Saturday, February 10th in Shelbyville. If they win, they play in the Regional Championship at 7:30 PM. Come out to support your Lady Trailblazers!
Additionally, the boys basketball team has also had extraordinary success this year. Led by an all-senior starting lineup of Zack Hodgin, Josh Watson, Ethan Sickels, David Howard, and Foster Flamion, the boys squad has achieved a 14-1 record, clinching the #1 rank in Indiana 1A basketball. The boys team now have 2 home games, playing Covenant Christian on Friday and Heritage Christian on Tuesday. Come out to support another historic season!
Image courtesy of Jamie Owens