The Lady Lynx made the long, eight-hour trek to Saint David High School on Tuesday for their playoff game. Saint David was ranked #3 in the state, and Fredonia was ranked #14. The Lynx knew that it would be a tough game and they would have to fight to progress in the state tournament. The Lynx came out strong and were staying neck and neck with the Tigers all through the first half. A few minutes before halftime, the Lynx were down 17-12. They were able to close the gap to 17-16, then Mikelle Waters made a foul shot to tie the game up. The score stayed tied 17-17 at the half. Saint David came out after half with a full force and Fredonia could not keep up. The Tigers put up 37 points in the second half and the Lynx with 12 points. Unfortunately for the Lady Lynx, it wasn’t enough to pull out the win and continue through the State Tournament. The Lady Lynx had a great season and ended with 13 wins and 12 losses.
Senior Mckenna Grover ended the season with a total of 222 points, 200 rebounds, 54 steals and 47 assists. Senior Mikelle Waters had 193 points, 187 rebounds, 50 steals, 30 assists and four blocks. Also impressive was Lexie Heaton with 87 points, 43 rebounds, 33 steals and 19 assists this season. Naveya Estrada contributed 67 points, 48 rebounds, 29 steals and 18 assists. Navaeh Benson added 55 points to the season as well as 55 rebounds, 16 steals and nine assists. Danailee Tait put up 12 points, 25 rebounds, four steals and 18 assists. Although Charlie Anderson only played a partial season due to injury, she also contributed 38 points, 24 rebounds, 18 steals and eight assists to the season.
Coach Mandy Bundy summed up the season as it comes to a close, “Basketball is what seems like the longest sports season and the hardest in my opinion. It takes dedication and commitment to yourself and the team to be a finisher. This year we had 16 girls finish the season. Sixteen girls who we hope learned a lot about basketball and even more about life. It’s my goal as a coach every year to make sure that players leave the season knowing that it isn’t the size of the challenge you are facing, or the mistakes you make, but the effort that you put in after you fail that defines you. It is in those hard moments when you have the choice to quit or keep going that character is formed.
“Basketball is a pressure sport. I hope they learned how to respond in moments of extreme pressure, to look for their team, the people they surround themselves with, that should be coming to help. I hope that they learned that asking for help makes them stronger and not weak. It helps the team know when they are needed.
“A big lesson this year that I really wanted them to hear and take to heart, was for them to make good decisions, whether it is passing the ball, shooting it, or other bigger life decisions that could lead them down the wrong paths ... take a breath, even two, and then if it isn’t good, hold the ball and take the whistle. We get to control the defense that way, we get to control our response to a turnover. There is so much power in controlling your response to the negative things that happen in life.
“Finally, Coach Eric always asks them to play their hardest, ‘it’s only 32 minutes.’ I have loved this statement for so many personal reasons this year. It’s easy to get tired, overwhelmed, nervous, and even to start shutting down in extreme situations or when life throws us challenges that seem impossible to overcome. Sometimes changing the lens that we are looking through and focusing on just the next 32 minutes, the next eight minutes, or even just the next minute, can help us refocus all of our efforts to make a difference both on and off the court.
“We finished the season 14th in the state as a team. They probably won’t remember that in five years, but it’s my hope they will remember the lessons they learned, the friendships they made, the never-ending bus trips, and their coaches, who always pushed them to give their very best.”
We are proud of our Lady Lynx basketball team and hope they learned the lessons Coach Mandy and Coach Eric wanted them to learn. The community is looking forward to watching the girls again next year with the upcoming talent. Good job Lady Lynx! Until next basketball season!