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Girls Basketball: State Champions

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A team that has been chasing the state championship for years finally won it. After all of the team’s training and hard work, the Girls Varsity Basketball team became state champions on March 18, 2017. After getting to the Final Four last year, the girls can now call themselves state champions of Girls Basketball for the first time in Gilmour history.

Hoping to win it all, Sydney Dietrich (`17) said, “Coach always reminded us of what we accomplished last year, and if we did what we could this year then we would be fine.” Dietrich spoke of how winning the state championship was the team’s main goal throughout the season, and they were really prepared for the state tournament because of the tough schedule that they had during the regular season.

The seniors on the team were Sydney Dietrich, Grace Mullen, Emily Kelly, and Marielle Majer. They all played basketball for their four years of attending Gilmour and were determined to win, because they knew what it felt like to lose at a state tournament.

From the start of the final game against Versailles High School, there were many early calls against Gilmour. The girls did not let that discourage them, and they continued to put up a fight.

Naz Hillmon (`18) said that a main contributor to the team’s win was their coach, Mr. Bob Beutel. Hillmon said, “Coach always said, ‘As long as we don’t care who gets the credit, we can accomplish anything.’” At the end of the day, the girls worked together to win the title. It didn’t matter to them who got the interview or was named player of the year. They all believed they won together.

Dietrich (`17) has been playing basketball since the second grade and described it as “the center” of her life. In the final game, Dietrich fouled out. She said, “After I fouled out, I was still able to support my team from the bench. I could barely sit down by the end of the game, because I wanted to be playing. But from the way everything turned out, I was still happy in the end.”

Bree Zedar (`17) said, “In the first half, we had seven fouls and they had one. By the end, it was a really close game so we were able to see that they had a really good team dynamic on the court and could work well together. It was exciting to see Naz being so powerful.”

Mallorie Piazza (`17) is a former basketball player who attended many regular season games as a fan. She was excited to see the team make it to states. Piazza said, “They have been working hard for this for the past few years. Since I was on the team before, I know the hard work and dedication needed. This team did everything to deserve the state title.” Piazza supported the girls throughout the season and knew by the relationships and team dynamic that it was a “state championship team.”

Hillmon talked about how important relationships are with her teammates on and off the court. She explained that knowing your team is a bonus to getting to the state tournament. It allowed for the team to work together without tension since they all had the same goal, so it helped with them winning the final game.

Majer, Mullen, and Alexys Foster (`20) have won championships this year in both soccer and basketball. Majer and Mullen have a bond as seniors on these two teams. Mullen said, “It was amazing being next to Marielle both times when becoming Gilmour’s first double state champions.”

Majer said, “It was a great way to end senior year.”

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Jayla Salter, a senior at Gilmour Academy, from Cleveland, aspires to go to law school and one day become a news anchor. She has had plenty of experience regarding the reading/english side to journalism, but she hopes to explore the actual hands on work a news anchor does. Her goal as a writer, is to provide information and stories that will make people excited and know the truth.Aside from writing, Jayla not only dedicates her time to her school work by taking several writing courses, but also spends time doing track.