Girls State Basketball Game

Reilly Healey

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Your first time walking the halls of Monarch High, your first honors or AP class, your first homecoming dance, your first time going to a high school football game while sitting in the stands where only a year ago you were forbidden to be. High school brings all sorts of diverse activities and events for every student to enjoy, that before as a middle schooler they did not have. So as a freshman, there is a world of opportunities to become a part of and to do something new for the very first time. 

As for these two freshmen girls, they took advantage of something not many people in their grade had the opportunity to do; on February 28th, last Thursday, they partook in the state girls’ basketball game against the Millard North Mustangs in Lincoln. 

One of the Monarch freshman, Brooklyn Wrice, played in the first round state game, where she would be found playing shooting guard or point guard. Wrice was also one of the only freshmen to be playing in that game. Along with this great exception, the Mustangs unfortunately beat the Monarchs 54-45. Although the Monarchs ended up being defeated, they battled long and hard before that final buzzer rang. 

“We started out pretty rough in the first quarter,” Wrice said. “But we fought back and at one point in the game we were down only by three points.” 

Even with the score being 45-54, the Monarch girls would argue that what you see on the score board is different than how the game actually played out in Lincoln that night. 

“The score did not reflect our skill level because I feel we are better than Millard North,” Wrice said. “we just had a rough start and it’s hard to then dig ourselves out of a hole.” 

As a freshman, this was Wrice’s first time in an atmosphere where her and her team could possibly be bringing home a state title for their high school. This atmosphere, although might bring ‘a bit nervousness’, Wrice was getting a feel of what it’s like to play for a NSAA sponsored event. 

“The atmosphere was great,” Wrice said. “I got a taste at what it feels like to play in such a big arena and I wish I could play there all the time because it is such a great feeling.” 

Another freshman, Mady Janousek, also contributed to the state basketball game, but in a different form; she was in the stands cheering on the Monarchs from a far with other fellow fans. Janousek, along with her other peers, were committed fans, knowing that it would start at 8:45 and not end until much later. But this time seemed to affect nobody as a lot of fans still went to go watch in hopes of advancing to the next round. 

“We had a good amount of people. The student stand brought great energy to the game,” Janousek said. “The parent section was pretty full as well. I also saw a lot of middle schoolers from LVMS at the game.” 

But, this was not Janousek’s ‘first rodeo’ as she had went to the girls’ state basketball game last year as well. The difference in those two games would be the fact this is her first time watching as a high schooler, and not as a middle schooler. 

“I did go to state basketball last year, as well as this year,” Janousek said. “I had more fun at this game because I knew all of the girls playing. I even do sports with some of them.” 

Unlike Janousek, this was Wrice’s first time participating in an event as exciting and nerve-wrecking as state basketball. So, Wrice may not have been fully prepared for what was to come in the game, which resulted in her wanting to tweak some elements of her performance. 

“I would tell myself not to be nervous,” Wrice said. “because it is just another game and to be loose and play with confidence.” 

Events like these that these two Monarch freshmen partook in isn’t all about the scores or the games won. Although those factors are important towards the success of the team, most importantly it’s about putting ourselves in those types of situations to come to the realization of our interests and our dislikes. So, the next time you are debating about going to the next high school sport game or going out for that new club or sport, the next thing you should consider is that you only have to try something at least once before you like it. 

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