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Defense Wins Championships

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Athletic Center at Gilmour Academy

It was that time of year again – a time when people began to prepare for the cold weather and the holiday season.

But for the Girl’s Basketball team, it was time to prepare for their Holiday Tournament. The Girl’s Basketball team has a tradition of traveling during Winter Break, and this year the girls traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida to participate in the IRCS Holiday Tournament.

The girls have been preparing for this tournament for a while. They only had three games before this Holiday Tournament due to the new gymnasium and scheduling difficulties with other teams. “Because we only had three games, we were really excited to actually play! We did a lot of conditioning so we were ready to actually prove ourselves,” says Bekka Simko (`10). This is the second year the girls went to this tournament. A repeat holiday tournament is rare for Coach Bob Beutel to do. “Last year, we participated in this tournament, and loved it! We had really good competition, and the school that hosted really made us feel welcome,” says Melanie Trushel (`11).

The girls left on December 27, 2009. For them, this tournament is undoubtedly the turning point in their season. This travel time gives the girls a chance to bond and become a true team. After losing their first game last year, the girls were determined to come out stronger this year. They began the tournament by playing Catawba High School from North Carolina. They stuck to their game plan and the Lady Lancers were able to command a 52-27 victory over Catawba.

The second game the girls played was against the host school, Indian Rocks Christian School. “We knew going into the game that Indian Rocks was going to be really good. That’s why we set up a game plan. If we were able to execute, we would be able to beat them,” says Allie Herbe (`10). One aspect of the game plan that may be overlooked by spectators is the ability to play good defense. By playing sound defense, the girls were able to execute their game plan, which helped the Lady Lancers pull out their second victory.

The defense mentality was carried over to the championship game where the girls played University Christian School. The Lady Lancers went into the game playing an uncommon type of defense. Ultimately, this defense led them to Coach Bob Beutel’s first Holiday Tournament victory since 1991. Assistant Coach Greg Dugger says, “It was a stellar defensive performance for the whole team in all of their games.” The Lady Lancers worked really hard to make an impression down south, and came back IRCS Holiday Tournament Champions.

Up north, the season is only beginning for the Lady Lancers. With only three regular season games under their belts, they have many games before they start focusing on the postseason. Hopefully, this Holiday Tournament will have served as a learning experience for the Lady Lancers.