On Jan. 14, 2020 at 6:30 p.m., the Lady Mustangs, the girls’ varsity basketball team, won a region game 54 to 44 points against the Stockbridge Tigers. Ranked last in the region before the game, they overcame their struggles through teamwork.
“The stuff that you learn from basketball, like teambuilding, helps you go far in life,” Queen Porter, #1 and senior, said.
By the middle of the first quarter, the Lady Mustangs were up by two points, 9 to 7, but each team had a foul. The teams worked hard and shot multiple three-pointers. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 16 to 12 points with 2 to 4 fouls. Although the scoreboard showed a win, the players were losing their stamina.
“I feel like with more hype from the stands then us on the court will be like, ‘Okay we are going to go harder,’” Porter said.
In the middle of the second quarter, Taylor Shaw, #12 and junior for the Tigers, sustained a minor ankle injury, but she got back on the court after half-time. The Lady Mustangs were still in the lead 27 to 13 points.
“We have this fan-favorite cheer, so whenever we call it everybody gets up,” Jalah Taylor, head cheerleader for the Tigers and senior, said.
The game continued with Ola in the lead. Stockbridge struggled to catch up with Mustangs. In the middle of the third quarter, Ola lead with 32 to 20 points. Kayla Taylor, #21 and senior of the Tigers, scored another point as the buzzer went off at the end of the third quarter.
The Lady Mustangs scored six more points by the middle of the fourth quarter, but the Tigers were catching up. However, the Mustangs still brought home the victory by 10 points.
“If we miss [the girls’ basketball game], it is probably because we had a competition or something else to do with cheer,” J. Taylor said.
Unfortunately, the Ola cheerleaders could not show up to support the basketball program, and the stands were not as excited as they normally are. However, the team was enthusiastic and played a good game.
“I feel like [members of Ola’s community] don’t put much attention on the basketball program. It is more softball, volleyball, and football. For example,[the other team] got cheerleaders, and we don’t even have cheerleaders, and we are home… There is not enough attention on the basketball program,” Vincent Clayton, father of Blaiklyn Clayton, #21 and freshman, said.
Clayton believes the lack of support might have to do with the lack of titles the team has gained. Although the team has yet to gain titles, they could use more support from the students which could lead to one. While Ola’s administrators provide support by attending games, the players would appreciate their peers doing so as well. When more people fill the stands, the team plays a more confident game.
“If you are an Ola student, why are you not supporting your peers or classmates? We obviously want as many people there [at the game] as possible. Plus basketball is fun, an interesting sport, and it is only five dollars to get in,” Justin Sumner, assistant varsity coach, said.