Redhawks fall in quest to repeat as state championship

Seeking back-to-back UIL 5A state championships, the girls’ basketball team wrapped up their run in the playoffs in the state final Wednesday, facing off against the state’s top-ranked team Cedar Park High School. Taking on the Timberwolf in San Antonio’s Alamodome, the Redhawks fell short in their quest to repeat, losing 46-39.

“When you get this late in the season, you’re playing a lot of other teams that have a good product as well,” head coach Ross Reedy said. “Then that just unfolds the way it unfolds. You’ve got to be okay with that.”

The ending obviously wasn’t what we wanted but we got as much time as possible with each other. It definitely taught me how to take hard losses and learn from them,”

— senior Maya Jain

Even though the loss was hard for the team, senior Maya Jain believes it was less about how she played and more about who she played with.

“I think the season went great overall,” Jain said via text. “The ending obviously wasn’t what we wanted but we got as much time as possible with each other. It definitely taught me how to take hard losses and learn from them.”

While winning might be the ultimate goal for some, for the Redhawks it is just an added bonus.

“Our goal has never been rankings and it’s really never been trophies,” Reedy said. “It’s nice to win a championship but we have always just wanted to put a good product on the floor.”

Despite the game’s outcome, they were able to accomplish their goal, win or lose.

“We felt that our brand is important to put out because it’s not only a brand of basketball it’s a brand of how to do things, how to work together and how to live life,” Reedy said. “You know, you have to deflect praise and accept criticism.”

With 3 straight appearances in the 5A state championship game and 1 title, is the girls' basketball team a sports dynasty?

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For junior Ashley Anderson, it is more about the time with friends doing what she loves most.

“My favorite part about basketball is playing with a team and accomplishing obstacles with others,” Anderson said via text. “Our strengths are based on our chemistry as a team. We just wanted to play for each other and do what we had to do in order to win.”

While this season brought about challenges unlike any other, it also brought teamwork, a characteristic the team strives to possess.

“I think the games we all played together as a team, our offense flowed really smoothly,” Ziemkiewicz said via text. “The previous games have shown me that we play the best basketball when we play together.”

This past season has provided the team with a new perspective on what it truly means to show sportsmanship.

We felt that our brand is important to put out because it’s not only a brand of basketball it’s a brand of how to do things, how to work together and how to live life,”

— head coach Ross Reedy

“You know, we look at it as an opportunity to cheer for others and be a part of something that’s bigger than ourselves as individuals,” Reedy said.

Reedy believes he owes the success of the season to his athletes.

“We’ve had over 100 practices and so to have that kind of competitive stamina be a byproduct of some of the things that they do as a part of their internal makeup and the ability to do that is really all them,” Reedy said. “I can’t take credit for that.”

Although the team did not come out on top, they still feel they won the opportunity of a lifetime.

“The second the game was over I started missing my team already,” Jain said. “I think the most important lesson I learned this season is to take advantage of the time and opportunities you’re given.”