Lady Warriors championship season ends in 1A regional quarterfinals
The basketball season ended Thursday for Whittell’s Lady Warriors, but not before they put the program back on the map.
After over 10 years of futility, Whittell ascended to be co-West League champions and reach the playoffs.
Whittell’s head coach Phil Bryant would have liked his girls to get a little farther in postseason but in all felt like it was a real good season.
The Warriors, No. 2 in the west, lost 51-31 to Owyhee, the East’s No. 3 seed, in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 1A Championships at Hug High School in Reno.
“We just seemed to be content to have made the playoffs and didn’t bring much energy to the game,” Bryant said. “We got down early and just were not able to create any early scoring opportunities with the press. Owyhee’s playoff experience showed up as they played loose and relaxed. In all, it was a good season but I am a little disappointed I was not able to get them to the level of play I had hoped to. In terms of the number of wins it was great success, but in the level of intensity and competitiveness we didn’t quite get there.”
Whittell, like it had so often in the regular season, couldn’t consistently hit shots from any range.
The Warriors hit just 14 of 66 attempts and were 1 of 15 from beyond the arc.
Senior Madison Burch led the way with nine points but the other four starters combined for just 10 points.
Whittell finished 16-7 overall and 9-1 in league play. Four seniors, Burch, Anna White, Shaylie Rippet and Briana Johns will graduate this year, but the rest of the team was made up of one junior, four sophomores and two freshman — the future appears to be bright.
“It is a step in the right direction and with the number of girls who could come back next year it can continue to be positive steps,” Bryant said. “They are going to have to be willing to put in some offseason work to improve their skill sets and I’m not sure they are willing to do that with the number of them that are committed to club soccer or just not interested enough to do what it takes. Basketball players are made in the offseason and teams are made during the season.”