Junior-varsity girls fall short in final moments of Crosstown game, 36-33

Sophomore guard Alex Hoger looks to make a shot during Wednesday’s game. “We’re a team, and that means it’s on everyone if we win or if we lose,” Hoger said. Photo courtesy of Colleen Olson.

Unfortunately adding another loss to their season record, the junior-varsity girls’ basketball team were narrowly defeated by the Oswego Panthers at the annual Crosstown game.

The final score was 36-33.

Sophomore guard Anna Tran said that, after their loss to Yorkville, she and the team got more serious about each of their plays, and how the group communicated on the court.

“After our past few games, we’ve learned when to pull back and push forward,” Tran said. “It’s all about the dynamic.” 

The Wolves received the tip off, and during the first quarter, they put up a fight against the Panthers, engaging in a back and forth battle of the buckets. Sophomore post Finley Anderson had an impressive defensive performance in the first quarter, citing help and support from her teammates, on the court and in the crowd.

“My teammates are my biggest supporters,” Anderson said. “When I look to score, I look to them and they always have my back.”

The first quarter left the Wolves searching for more, entering the quarter up 7-2. Sophomore guard Alex Hoger said that although they were dominant, there were still things to work on.

“We need to work on boxing out, layups, free throws and communicating better on defense,” Hoger said. “We struggled a bit with basic basketball stuff that we need to fix, even though we are winning.”

Shortly before halftime, the Wolves took the lead against the Panthers, with a score of 13-9. The Wolves ended the half with a leg up against Oswego, but the team knew that any mistakes made had to be fixed. Freshman Myella Dart said that she and her teammates were ready for the half ahead of them. 

“[Coach Charlett] had us focus on rebounding and continuing our aggression by driving the ball to the hoop,” Dart said. “I felt confident going into the half that we would play hard and do our best.”

The freshman guard contributed to eight points throughout the game.

During the third quarter, the Wolves showed focus and precision, despite a couple hiccups in the first half. Anderson said that she and her teammates opened communication and stopped holding back offensively.

“We ran through our plays again during the halftime huddle,” Anderson said. “We opened communication about who each one of us was guarding and how to drive every play to the hoop.”

The Panthers, however, also brought their “A” game and took back the lead coming to the end of the fourth quarter. The game was tightened by a constant back and forth of free throws from both the Wolves and the Panthers, but in the end, the Panthers pulled out all the stops and overtook the otherwise dominant Wolves.

Head Coach Jackie Charlett said that the team is making as much progress as possible to keep the season going in order to win games.

“Our last few games have been really close,” Charlett said. “Though we are looking forward to improving every day and looking to support each other as a team.”

The junior-varsity team plays the Waubonsie Valley Warriors at home tomorrow.

Kelsey Gara is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

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