Girls basketball falls to Sickles on senior night


During one of the team’s games in the season, sophomore Lazlo Nziga dives to get the ball. “I was aggressive, I scored, I was shredding down on defense” she said (Photo by Katie Delk).

The Dancerettes and cheerleaders body roll as the Big Red Band plays “Let’s Go.” The crowd simultaneously yells out “go big red” along with the band as the referee tosses up the jump ball. Junior Zaria Tyson times the jump, but loses it to Sickles’ senior Julie Moreau. Since that one small victory at the beginning of the game, Sickles kept the momentum and won 65-17.

For the first quarter, the girls basketball team faced a relentless full court press. Captain senior Kathy Dinarte was stuck in a two-person trap after every ball was inbounded to her. Even when she was able to pass around the two defenders, the team’s offense was still fruitless. They were not able to score any points unless one of the players headed to the free throw line, but that only yielded two points.

However, once Sickles transitioned into a half-court trap, the Lady Terriers were able to penetrate the defense and score 11 points. Sophomore Jalexis Howard led the team with nine points, six of which were in the second quarter. Despite their improvement on offense, they were not able to prevent Sickles from scoring another 24 points, making it a 50-13 game by halftime. The team was unable to match the size and physicality of its opponents and was dominated by Sickles’ merciless rebounders.

Since the team was losing by more than 35 points in the second half, the basketball mercy rule was implemented. This means there was a running clock for the entire second half. During all out-of-bounds plays, jump ball possessions and free throws, the clock did not stop. According to Florida High School Activities Association Commissioner Robert W. Hughes, this is in an attempt to prevent teams from experiencing a “high level of frustration that is both unnecessary and lingering” he said.

This was the team’s last regular season home game, but they are not dismayed. “We could have done better but we went out there with positive attitudes and left with positive attitudes,” Dinarte said. “Despite our loss we played hard.” According to Dinarte, the team will need to improve its communication skills, rebounding and ability to run a productive offense in order to be successful at districts.

The team is currently 5th in the 7A District 7 Girls Basketball Standings.