Girls basketball heads to state for the third time in five years

The Chargers basketball team is #ALLIN for the state tournament.

The Chargers enter state as the top seed at 20-3 and face 9-12 Heritage Christian 3 p.m. Thursday at Gross Memorial Stadium in Hays.

The team entered sub-state as the number one seed and was able to dominate the teams and bring home the sub-state championship. They first played Goessel, the eighth seed, at home and won 58-24. From there they faced the fifth seeded Hillsboro and defeated them 52-19. For the championship the girls played second seed Northern Heights winning 59-43, qualifying the team to state again.

The players have been preparing themselves since the beginning of the season for this moment.

“We have practiced and prepared ourselves for the moment and when it comes, I think we will be ready,” junior Madelyn Hutley said.

This hard work and preparation makes this team special to head coach Shanna Perine.

“We are all on the same page. We know what we want and we knew from the beginning what we had to do to get there. Everyone bought into our goal and worked hard everyday to get to this point,” Perine said, “The sky’s the limit for this group. They are all very unselfish and want to win for each other. We know there are no shortcuts to the top and it will take all of us to get there.”

About half of the girls traveled to state two years ago, but only a few of them were able to have the experience of playing on the court. But senior Abby Oliver said this year is different.

“This team has a certain chemistry on the court that is like something I’ve never been a part of. If we keep playing like we have been, I think we’ll put up a tough fight at state,” Oliver said.

“Nothing surprises me about a group of kids who are #ALLIN,” Perine said.

— Kaytlyn Meseke, @Kaytlyn_nelle

Q&A: Girls basketball players Hutley, Oliver anticipate a competitive season

With coaching changes and a bigger team the girls basketball team is ready to start playing. To understand how the players feel about the changes and how the team is working in practice the Charger had an interview with senior Abby Oliver and junior Madelyn Hutley.

How is the team different this year?

Oliver: We have a lot of different changes in the coaching staff and we have a lot more girls out. We went from only having 13 to having almost 20, so practices are more fast paced. We always have to be doing something to get everyone involved.

Hutley: This year there is a chance for new leaders to step up and do our role and we should have a pretty good season.

What are you most excited for this year with a different team?

Oliver: I think we are going to play a lot faster pace of game this year and looking forward to it, so that is always fun.

Hutley: I’m just looking forward to playing. Just getting out there and playing.

What are the goals that the team has?

Oliver: I think always our biggest goal is to win league. We have one of the toughest leagues in the state

Hutley: I wasn’t going to say we have goals, we have a destination and that is state.

What strengths does this newer team have?

Oliver: I think our guards, we have really good guard play and we are really quick. We have a lot of fast girls.

Hutley: We are diverse.

What weaknesses do you guys have?

Oliver: Right now the few post players we have are hurt and we don’t have a big dominant post player.

Hutley: We are pretty small and we need to get in better shape.

How do you think the coaching changes will affect the team?

Oliver: I think the coaching changes this year are positive changes and having a third coach is good because we have a lot of freshman out and it helps them start somewhere.

Hutley: This year we have a lot more encouragement and it’s more beneficial for the team.

The team starts the season tonight at home against Axtell and plays at home Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in the Wabaunsee Invitational.

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