Members of the Louisburg Middle School eighth-grade varsity girls team are (from left) head coach John Ozier, Gabby Tappan, Reilly Ratliff, Allie Boles, Mackenzie Scholtz, Ashley Moore, Kody Lowry, Haley Cain, Lauren Vincent, Emma Roy and Sydni Keagle.
It was an up and down year for the Louisburg Middle School eighth-grade girls basketball team, but it was one that showed a lot of promise.
The Lady Cats battled their way to a 10-6 record and won two out of their last three games to finish the season on a strong note according to head coach John Ozier.
“Three of our losses came down to the last few seconds of the game,” Ozier said. “I was very proud of the growth the girls showed this season. Some of our wins this year were a result of outworking, outplaying and just wanting it more than our opponent.”
Louisburg showed that drive toward the end of the season as it hosted Wheatridge on Dec. 10, and then a triangular to end of the season on Dec. 12 against Eudora and Baldwin.
Against Wheatridge, the Lady Cats jumped out early and never looked back in a 34-14 victory. Louisburg opened the game with a 17-2 run thanks to its full-court pressure, which forced several turnovers and led to a lot of easy baskets.
Two days later, the Lady Cats got the opportunity to avenge a loss. Louisburg faced off with Eudora to start the triangular after falling to the Cardinals in overtime earlier in the season. The Lady Cats took care of business as they edged Eudora 36-29.
“This was easily our best game of the season,” Ozier said. “We were finally able to get some shots to drop, played great defense and rebounded with great intensity. I was so proud of the girls’ effort.”
Louisburg then met Baldwin in the season finale, and despite a strong first half, the Lady Cats couldn’t keep up with Baldwin in a 33-19 loss.
“Throughout the course of the season, we worked hard to become physically and mentally tough,” Ozier said. “I feel the girls were able to accomplish both goals.”
Members of the eighth-grade varsity team are Gabby Tappan, Reilly Ratliff, Allie Boles, Mackenzie Scholtz, Ashley Moore, Kody Lowry, Haley Cain, Lauren Vincent, Emma Roy and Sydni Keagle.
(Stats from the final three games were unavailable at the time the story published.)
JV finishes season with winning record
The Louisburg eighth-grade junior varsity team had a strong season as well. The Lady Cats finished their year with an 11-4 record.
Like the varsity, the Lady Cats ended their season with a triangular at home on Dec. 12. It was scheduled to be against Eudora and Baldwin, but Baldwin was unable to field a junior varsity team, so Louisburg played Eudora twice.
Both times the Lady Cats got the better of the Cardinals after losing to them in double overtime earlier in the season.
Members of the Louisburg eighth-grade junior varsity girls team are (front row, from left) Bella Arriola, Skyler Bowman, Gabby Dugger, Kayla Willey, Kate Cassida; (back row) Gracen Lesher, Skyler Pulliam, Libby Storey, Shayla Meyer, Riley Papst and Shayla Aye.
In the first game, Louisburg won 16-10 and got four points each from Bella Arriola and Libby Storey. The final matchup was even closer, but the Lady Cats pulled away for a 29-26 win.
Shayla Meyer led the Lady Cats in scoring with eight points and Storey finished with seven.
“This team was great to work with this year,” junior varsity coach Cindy Apple said. “I was fortunate to have a group of young ladies who came to practice each day ready to give it their all. We had some learning moments in our four losses, but I attribute that to my own learning moments as a coach.
“The losses did not get the girls down and they came out each game ready to play and win. It was a fun season and I look forward to seeing these girls on the freshman team with Coach (Shawn) Lowry next year.”
Members of the junior varsity team are Gracen Lesher, Skyler Pulliam, Libby Storey, Shayla Meyer, Riley Papst, Shayla Aye, Bella Arriola, Skyler Bowman, Gabby Dugger, Kayla Willey and Kate Cassida.