Learning to fly, young team finding its way 

With just one senior, girls’ basketball program continues to succeed 


Amelia Jáuregui

After a 36-22 win against Wakeland, the girls record is now 12-3. This placing them in third place in District 9-5A.

Catie Reeves, Sports Editor

Transitioning from an experienced team with nine seniors in 2019-2020, to a team with just one senior, the girls’ basketball team is looking to repeat history as the Redhawks have won or shared, seven out of the last eight district championships.

Heading into Friday’s game against Wakeland, the team has a 14-1 record in District 9-5A with just two games left. 

But unlike years past, this year’s team is relying on youth, rather than experience. 

“That is the biggest change is that our group a year ago with nine seniors five of which had been on varsity since they were freshmen, seven which have been practicing with us from the time they were freshmen,” girls’ head basketball coach Ross Reedy said. “We could reference a game plan two or three years old and they had that storage in their database. This year it’s a little tougher, we have to simplify things a little bit and we haven’t been able to expand as of late.”

Having a team comprised of mostly underclassmen has changed the way the team flows.

“We pride ourselves on execution, leadership, focus, being cerebral, and having a high basketball IQ. These are things that typically you have to build over time and they haven’t been able to build on any of our varsity kids,” Reedy said. “The two closest being Jazzy (freshman Jazzy Owens) and Maya (junior Maya Jain). In terms of developing leadership and having a whole entire not just a game plan but practice day in and day out. Missing that that has been a challenge for us all year and I love the way that our girls have handled it especially coupled with us going through injuries and things like that.”

The challenges of having a group so fresh to Redhawk basketball is a positive for Owens.

“It’s truly a benefit to the team,” she said. “We had the opportunity to not only learn but grow as a team this season, which is going to make us even stronger for next season with the majority returning.”

Trading a volleyball net for a basketball one, Kyla Crawford is the lone senior, but it’s her first year on the team. 

“Even Kyla being a senior it’s a little misleading about the program about age because it really is a factor,” Reedy said. “Maturity, focus, things like that, but the biggest factor is experience. So even if you look at Kyla Crawford our senior this is her first year in our program, that matters. Especially when we pride ourselves on execution, leadership and focus.”

Crawford often looks to her teammates for advice to understand the traditions of Redhawks basketball.

“It feels normal to me to be the only senior right now because I don’t think about what class my teammates are in until I walk across that stage with my diploma in my hand,” Crawford said. “I have learned a lot from this team, how to handle certain coaching styles, people’s attitudes, and each person’s skill level. I don’t really show any leadership in practice because I am still learning the culture since it’s my first year playing Redhawk Basketball.”

This year’s roster turnover reaches beyond the court, but Reedy likes the way his young team has adjusted.

“We’re still building a foundation and making sure that we’re reestablishing our culture because that’s another thing that you lose,” Reedy said. “There’s been many challenges and I have a great deal of admiration for the way the kids have handled it.”