FALLS CITY — The Mountaineers girls basketball team finished its final regular season game with a 68-22 loss against St. Paul.
Although the season has been rocky, the team ended in a No. 5 spot in league, with a 7-14 overall record, and 5-11 in the Casco League.
The girls beat Jewell (6-16 overall, 5-11 Casco) and Crosshill Christian (7-16 overall, 5-11 Casco) in the second round of games, which wasn’t slated to happen.
“The last few weeks we have beat Crosshill, we have beat Jewell, and we have lost to Oregon School for the Deaf, so, two out of three games,” said senior Amara Houghtaling. “We were supposed to win the one that we lost, and we were supposed to lose the two games that we won.
“Before the season started, we were told that we were only supposed to beat C.S. Lewis and OSD, so beating (Jewell and Crosshill) proved that we are better than people thought we were, and reiterated that we are more than people think, and we have mental toughness and grit to get us through hard games like that. It wasn’t just one of us playing at one of those times. It was all five people playing on the court, pushing the ball up the court the whole time, no plays off. Those two games are what have us in the looks for districts. However, we did lose to OSD, that was a tough loss that we shouldn’t have lost.”
The Mountaineers lost the first three games of the season, and from there, slowly started improving.
“We’ve practiced like we’re gonna play,” Houghtaling said. “You play the way you practice. We’ve really tried to pump up the practices, and try to make them game-like. I mean, you can never make them as intense as a game will ever be, but we try to mimic that so when we get into situations in a game, that we’re prepared, and I think our coaches have done a good job preparing us for that. At the beginning of the season Mr. Kidd said we want to be at the best at the end of the season. These last few weeks have been a lot of growing and learning and really coming together as a team. Lots of improvement.”
As of last week, after their loss against St. Paul (25-0 overall, 16-0 Casco), whether or not they would move on to the district playoffs at St. Paul on Feb. 15 and 16 still hung in the air.
“We beat Jewell (on Feb. 5) by seven ... which put us in the driver’s seat for the last playoff spot, but then we lost to Oregon School for the Deaf,” said head coach Micke Kidd. “So now there’s going to be a three-way tie for that last playoff spot and then it will come down to RPI, which is OSAA’s ranking system, so basically we have to wait until Tuesday at midnight when it freezes. So either us, Jewell or Crosshill will get that last spot.”
The spot ended up going to Crosshill Christian School.