Womens varsity basketball team in playoffs

Camila Pierce, Staff Writer

Amid choruses of squeaking shoes and quick passes,

Women’s Varsity basketball team, courtesy of Athens Drive WBB Twitter

the Athens Drive varsity women’s basketball team is heading to the playoffs with Head Coach Allyson Stephenson. The varsity team has racked up 15 wins and 11 losses. The top 32 teams in the region advance to the playoffs, a tournament bracket to decide a state champion. The Athens women were projected as 18th out of 32 total teams.

A team’s strength of schedule is determined by the skill level of the other teams they are up playing. A higher strength translates to facing off against tougher teams. Athens’ women have a strength of schedule 11, whereas there are other teams advancing to the playoffs with a strength of 3.  Six out of eight schools in the Tri-8 conference are advancing to the playoffs, almost one fifth of the total teams from just one conference.

“I really tried this year to help them understand that playing together is going to be the most important and our team has done a really good job, we’ve had really good leadership in terms of making sure that everybody feels like they’re a part of the team, and I think that has been a big par

t of our success this year,” said Stephenson.

One of the oldest and truest clichés, teamwork is incredibly important to success in a sport. The 12 varsity players have had a couple of months to come together as a unit. This roster includes four seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.

“It’s a really fun sport. Especially when you make a basket and everyone is cheering for you. Or I don’t know when you steal a ball and intercept a pass is really cool. And it’s just really fun to have a team,” said Olivia Galvin-Yglesias, freshman and club basketball player out of school.

That team extends further than just the players on the court. Participating in sports like basketball helps foster a sense of community, especially in Athens Drive. Filling up stadiums and showing school spirit always lends a hand to the success of a team.

“One of my favorite things about Athens Drive is the support that we all have for each other. That’s my colleagues, the teachers, the principals, and the student body, the Blue Crew that always comes and supports the women’s basketball team. We definitely couldn’t do it without the support we have,” said Stephenson.

 Forced into a high performing conference, the team has been hard-pressed to succeed. Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, the varsity team has come a long way to enter into this tournament, and give it their all no matter what. 

“I think in the long run it has helped us, but it was challenging at first, to get the girls to understand every game is going to be a game, it’s just not going to be an easy game,” said Stephenson.