PERRYDALE — The Perrydale Pirates girls basketball team ended the season fifth in the state, and junior point guard Sydney Lawrence was a driving force behind making that happen.
During any game, you’ll see her at the front of the Pirate hoard, clinching shots and calling out plays.
“She is clearly the leader of our team and one of the top players at the 1A level,” said head coach Terry Newton. “She had a monster year on the court and also is a 4.0 student at Perrydale.”
Lawrence said she was happy about how this year went.
“The season went good, all of our league games went pretty good — St. Paul was a little rough for us — but we won more (games) than we did last year, so that was obviously a great improvement,” Lawrence said. “And then we made it to state, and we got fifth. So that’s pretty big.”
Lawrence and her team went 23-9 overall and 14-2 in the Casco League, nabbing a second-place spot in league behind St. Paul.
Going to state this year was a big deal for Lawrence and her team; it was the their first time making it to the final eight. Last year, they lost in the second playoff game by two points against Damascus Christian, who they ultimately lost to this year in the battle for fifth place.
“State was really good,” Lawrence said. “We apparently were the talk of the tournament, because people were not expecting us to be there, they weren’t expecting us to do as good as we did. Our first game, against Jordan Valley, we took the win, 31-28. Second game we came close. We were ahead most of the game so that was pretty cool. And then we finished it off with Damascus Christian and unfortunately we lost, but it happens, and we took fifth.”
That weekend was the highlight of this season, Lawrence said, with that first game being the most memorable of the whole experience.
“That first game against Jordan Valley ... just because we played so well, we came out hard, and we won by three points,” she said.
The saying goes that your team is like your family, and for Lawrence, that is true: literally. Her twin sister, Kenzy, and her younger sister, Dakota, a sophomore, both start on the varsity team.
“It’s fun,” she said. “We get a little nit-picky at each other, because I’m not going to do that with my teammates but I can do that with my siblings, so, it’s really fun. It’s a good experience, and I’m glad I get to play with my siblings.”