The girls basketball team finished their season in the state tournament against Northside without junior Caylan Koons due to a sprained UCL. They lost in the second round of the Arkansas state tournament.
“So this year is honestly just kind of been really rough for me and just what our team has been through but without my teammates and my coaches, I wouldn’t have gotten through it,” Koons said.
Koons also started the season with a high sprain ankle and had mental blocks throughout the season. Head coach Kimberly Jenkins helped her through the mental blocks.
“I just go into Coach Jenkin’s office all the time and we just talk,” Koons said. “She just helps me calm down and realize it’s okay, it’s just basketball and that she still loves me.”
Koons hurt her UCL in the second game of the conference tournament. It was sudden and the team had little time to prepare for her absence since they played a game the next day.
“I think it affected them quite a bit just because it was all so sudden,” Koons said. “It happened the second game of the conference tournament and we had a game the next day and then state the next week. Obviously, it was hard but I think my teammates worked as hard as they possibly could.”
According to sophomore Pacious McDaniel, the team prepared for games in one day which took a lot of mental focus.
“The state tournament was very competitive and we had to prepare within a day for the next game so it took a lot of mental focus but it was still a lot of fun,” McDaniel said.
Sophomore Blake Mary Martfield was also unable to play in either tournament due to an injured hip.
“I got kind of a different view of the games like being able to cheer everybody on,” Martfield said.
Junior Claire Bowden stepped up and filled in for her teammates.
“Because some of my teammates were injured, it kind of gave me a chance to get out there and show what I could do,” Bowden said. “It was tough not having them out there with us, but I was glad I could kind of step up.”
McDaniel agrees that Bowden stepped up for the team.
“When Caylan was out for injury, we lost another main scorer so someone had to step up and hit some shots,” McDaniel said, “and Claire Bowden definitely did that for us.”