According to senior co-captain Raya Shores, the main difference between this year’s women’s basketball team and last year’s is that “we mesh better.”
The season started out with the girls winning their scrimmages, prior to playing actual games. The first game turned out to be a loss, but it was an encouraging loss, Shores says, because they played well. The season turned out to be much different than what most of the girls expected, with a 3-22 record.
“It’s been a tough season, but it’s been fun,” Shores said. She also stated that the team plays well together despite their not so great record: “It feels like we should be winning, even though it’s not on the scoreboard.”
With seven first-year players and only three returning players, the team’s familiarity with each other and ability to play well together has been somewhat of a surprise to a lot of the players.
As a senior and co-captain of the team, Shores found it necessary at the beginning of the season to “create opportunities for people to meet each other.”
It turns out her plan worked better than expected, and everyone ended up getting along. In getting to know one another it was necessary for the returning players to show the first-year players the differences between high school and college basketball.
For first-year Emily Reeser, the team’s starting point guard, it has been a very difficult season coming from a high school that won most of their games.
According to Reeser, it has been hard on all the first-years, but at this point in the season Reeser will agree to say that they all play well together. With many of the players injured, Reeser says, “we’re pushing through the pain.”
“We know that we’ve lost the majority of our games,” Shores said, “but that hasn’t stopped us from having fun.”
The fact is, when it comes to the game of basketball they’re playing because they love it, according to Shores. The season, though frustrating, has no doubt shed light on the fact that with a season such as this one, all that matters is that the girls enjoy doing what they love.
“It hasn’t stopped us from loving the game,” Shores said.
As for the future of women’s basketball at Eastern, Reeser says that she would rather see players with the heart to play rather than winning games.
Though it’s her last season playing basketball at Eastern, Shores says that it’s encouraging to see what the first-years will bring to the women’s basketball program for the future.