Girls’ Basketball Team: Journey to State

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After a season full of rebounding, blocking and shooting, the girls’ basketball team’s season ended at the Macon Centreplex on March 6. From October through March, the team invested several hours after school and on weekends improving their basketball skills.

The team officially began their season back in November against Pace Academy and were victorious against them with a win of 64-21. The team was always on the move, as they traveled to different schools for games and tournaments.

Freshman Kaylynn Kirklen said, “My favorite memory from basketball was being in the locker room and dancing with the team before both home and away games.”

The girls’ basketball team even competed in a tournament in Charleston, South Carolina in which they were crowned as champions. Assistant Coach Ellen Riggins said, “One of my favorite memories has to be either going to Charleston during Christmas break or the final four game against St. Francis.”

This year, the Wesleyan Lady Wolves faced St. Francis to qualify for the state championship. Two of the team’s starters, senior Callie Weaver and junior Izzy Larsen, fouled out during the game, but this did not stop the team from playing hard. At the end of the game, the Lady Wolves proved to overcome their challenges as they defeated St. Francis 66-52.

Riggins said, “I remember flipping out of my chair during the game because of the excitement there was. St. Francis had tall and talented players, but our team managed to play well.”

For the fifth consecutive year, the team competed once again for the State Championship against Holy Innocents. The score at the half-time was 27-18. Junior AC Carter led Wesleyan’s score by 17 points followed by sophomore Paige Lyons with 11 points. However, the Holy Innocents Golden Bears proved they were hungry for the title as they defeated the Lady Wolves 48-75.

Weaver said, “Wesleyan basketball has given me the opportunity to play a high level of basketball while also allowing me to continue to fall in love with the game. It gave me my best friends and the best coaches.”

Not only do players learn more about the game of basketball, but coaches as well. Riggins said, “I learned several things about coaching from the head coach, Jan Azar. She would always know how to strategize and adjust to any game. One of the many things she was good at was showcasing what the whole team could do rather than just showing what one player could do.”

The girls’ basketball team finished as state runner-up and closed their season with a record of 28-4 giving their ultimate best at each game. This season was another year to strengthen the basketball program and make long-lasting relationships among the players.

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