Looking Through the Rim

A preview of the Battle Girls Basketball season

Jacei Roland, Reporter

Battle girls basketball had the first winning season in program history, going 14-12. Now, they head into this season with a similar crew to the previous year. 

“The preparation really started in the spring, with strength and conditioning and open gyms in the summer. We’ve pushed our kids a lot harder this year because we have higher expectations,” Head coach Dustin Yung said. 

The Lady Spartans beat teams like California, Ellington, and Montgomery County, all in close scoring games. This season, they are returning all of their varsity players except former seniors, Brooklynn Spillman and Imani Hopkins. This season, their goal is to make it to the district championship, never done before in program history. 

“We proved ourselves last year, especially with Rock Bridge, competing with them through three quarters and having it right there to be able to win,” Yung said. Last season they played top teams in their conference like Helias, losing 40-47 and Hickman, losing 53-61. They also beat teams like Marshall, 63-19 and Tolton, 72-27. This season, returning head coach Dustin Yung and assistant coaches Sammie Symonds and Taylor Buckner are getting this team ready by competing every day, such as at practice and even in the classrooms. 

This season, the team is also focusing on their chemistry, not only on the court, but off the court. They’ve done many team-bonding activities like team breakfasts, going and supporting fall sports such as softball and volleyball, and having a lock-in after tryouts. This team also gets in touch with younger athletes by hosting a basketball camp for kids in the summer. 

“We have great chemistry this season, and we’re all excited about what we can show people. We all love one another and are ready to come out with high energy and growth this season,” Senior Maliyah Miller said. 

This season, the team is working on the way they work together on the court. 

“You’re going to see more of an up-tempo style of play, pressing, trying to get up and down the floor as fast as possible, being able to share the ball offensively,” Yung said. “We have multiple kids that can score, who knows who’s going to be the leading scorer that night.”

The Lady Spartans are returning players like All-Conference and All-District junior Nautica Washington and senior Kaelyn Johnson, sophomore Tayla Robinson, and senior Maliyah Miller who all played an important role offensively last season. The Lady Spartans kick off this season against Nixa at home on November 22, and Rock Bridge at home on December 6.