Basketball sends off seniors with win

Deja Goode
Staff Writer

The women’s basketball team celebrated their senior night with a huge win against the Saint Katherine Firebirds, winning 122-59 Monday night at the Frantz Athletic Court.

The game showcased lots of talent and the Leopards moving as a unit as they maintained a large lead throughout the entire game as they ended the first half with a 31 point lead.

“Overall, we had a good game together and individually we came in hard and hustled,” said Kendall Stanley, a freshman forward.

Stanley closed out the game with six points and was quite the contender defensively. She dedicated her performance to the team’s graduating seniors.

The team’s bond grew stronger throughout the season and made them closer as players and friends as well.

As a team, the Leopards struggled with defense averaging at about three fouls per quarter for minor mistakes.

However, this did not stop the team from pushing and correcting these as the second half was an even bigger turn around for the team.

The Leopards began their push by opening the second half with explosive energy and more shot attempts.

The rowdy audience added major excitement to the game as the gymnasium was filled with chants and cheers.

“We came out wanting to play hard and have fun since it was the last game of the season,” freshman forward Casey Kuramoto said, “It was the last game of the seniors’ basketball career so we wanted to make them proud.”

The Leopards managed to create a large gap and push a 50 point lead by the end of the third quarter. The team united in a way that their offensive plays began to move seamlessly.

The final game seemed to bring the team together in a sense of skill and their personal growth as players.

Senior forward Brittany McDaniel is the second leading shot blocker in California and held that title as she earned three big blocks against the Firebirds.

McDaniel showed great appreciation for her team and all the hard work they put in for one of the best seasons they’ve seen in a long time.

Tayla Thompson, a freshman center, said that the bond of the team was very strong this season and can only expect it to go further.

“We will be champions next season with a banner and a ring,” Thompson said.

The Leopards dominated and ended the game with a final score of 122-59, an impressive 63 point lead.

Every player on the team was able to play and contribute to the score as they were constantly being rotated.

Averaging at 80.4 points a game makes for a promising future for the Leopards’ upcoming season.

Despite losing five straight of their last six games, the Leopards still ended the season with an overall positive record of 14-11, which is the best record the team has had since 2013-2014 season and have high hopes to do even better next season.

Deja Goode can be reached at deja.goode@laverne.edu.

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La Verne junior forward Kendall Stanley (24) blocks Whittier junior guard Lainie James (32) from getting the ball after a free throw shot during Saturday night’s game at Frantz Athletic Court.