GCA Lady Cougars earn sixth win of season against Byne

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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On January 30 the Grace Christian Academy Lady Cougars basketball team picked up their sixth win of the season as they defeated Byne Chrstian 41-33. Not only did this win snap a losing streak for the Lady Cougars, but it saw many underclassmen perform well and is giving them momentum as they wind down the regular season. 

Lady Cougars head coach Kelsey Harrell was not only pleased with the performance of her team in their win, but is excited to see how they will overcome adversity as the season winds down. 

“​​It gave the girls a drive to finish out the season on a strong note as the win was something that they have been wanting for a while now,” said Harell. “We will have some momentum moving towards the end of the season, but we will still have to overcome the mental aspect of losing several games in a row. Losing games isn’t the hardest part of playing sports, responding to losing is the hard part. I hope that the players can continue to respond in a positive way.”

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In the Lady Cougars win against Byne, they were able to jump out to a lead early and remain aggressive throughout. The Lady Cougars were able to run their offense efficiently which allowed them to cushion their lead early on. 

“We ran the offense well in the first half by starting the game aggressively instead of waiting until the second half to start playing well,” said Harrell. “We also played good defense and kept them from outscoring us in the first half so that we didn’t have to play ‘catch up’ in the second half.”

On the offensive end, sophomore Chloe Brogdon led the Cougars with 17 points as she has begun to really develop as one of the younger talents in the Lady Cougars program. With players like Brogdon who are gaining varsity experience early in their career, the Lady Cougars are poised for a bright future. 

“One of my favorite things about coaching is getting the opportunity to teach and help grow younger players into the potential that we see them having,” said Harrell. “Chloe is a great example of a younger player that has grasped onto everything we teach her and has put it to use in games. She is a leader on the court despite being an underclassmen. Chloe doesn’t know how to give up, and that is one of the best characteristics to have as an athlete.”

Senior Kassidy Widner also filled the stat sheet in their win as she not only put up 12 points, but also recorded two blocks in their win. Winder’s consistency and dedication to fundamentals like rebounding and boxing out has made her one of the pivotal pieces on this year’s Lady Cougars squad. 

“Kassidy is our most consistent post/forward on the team,” said Harrell. “She plays a big role as she typically must guard most of the posts on other teams, and those posts typically outsize her by a few inches. She rebounds and boxes out well in defense and takes away the opponent’s opportunity for a put back. She has started to drive the ball inside the paint better and is one of the more consistent free throw shooters we have on the team.”

One player who has really stuck out both statistically and as a leader has been senior Katherine Griffin. A multi-sport athlete, Griffin knows just exactly what it means to be a part of a team and has embraced her role from day one. In their win against Byne, Griffin was the defensive leader picking up five steals and six rebounds. Harrell has especially been pleased with the hustle she shows every game, no matter the opponent. 

“Katherine does a lot for the team and is the glue that keeps the team together,” said Harrell. “The other players rely on her as she brings a comfortable component to the game. Players look to Katherine as a player that they trust with the ball. She plays aggressive defense and recently got moved to playing against the posts and forwards in defense despite only being 5’4. Typically, her offensive energy comes from defensive victories she secures in games. We demand hustle from players on both sides of the ball because hustle requires no skill, just discipline. We may not be able to out skill a team, but we should always out hustle a team.”

With three games left in the regular season, Coach Harrell and the Lady Cougars are striving to end the season with hustle and heart and want to give the seniors the sendoff they deserve. Whether it’s on or off the court, Coach Harrell hopes that her players can take away accountability and leadership and use it in their future endeavors. 

“Coach Delaney Mueller and I would like to see the team end the season playing hard and to the best of their ability,” said Harrell. “Win or lose, if they play their best and play hard, we will be happy. From the seniors, we would like for them to use their experience from previous seasons and lead the team into the postseason with positivity and accountability.”

Grace Christian Academy will host senior night on Friday, February 10 as both boys and girls teams will take on Highland Christian Academy.