By Kendall Patterson
This week Chester County High School looks onward to the spring sports since both the Eagles and Eaglettes basketball teams lost in the first round of the regional tournament to South Gibson.
On Friday Feb. 25, the Eaglettes had a tough loss against the Hornets at South Gibson with a score of 51-32.
Eaglettes Head Coach Lee Pipkin said that much of the loss was due to how young her team is.
“We throughout the year tended to play really well and then you know play not so well. Which there again, it has to do with their youth and the fact that we have more sophomores than juniors and seniors. We had one senior and one junior play and everybody else was either a sophomore or freshman,” Pipkin said. “So you know in a tournament situation like that when you’re dealing with kids with not a lot of tournament experience or actually no tournament experience you know it tends to wear on their nerves and I think that had a lot to do with it…. it’s been a learning year.”
Kara Pipkin, the only senior player on the team, played a critical role in leading the young ladies Pipkin said.
“As far as our seniors, which would be Kara, Kara really grew into a good little high school basketball player.
“Kara, as our senior, really stepped up and was a fantastic leader on and off the court. I thought she developed. She came in and it really helped the younger kids and we just had a great atmosphere on our team this year,” Pipkin said.
Coach Pipkin mentioned how regardless of the team’s youth and regardless of the amount of success, her team this year was fun to coach.
“I can say this about this group of girls, we had our ups and downs and we were really inconsistent and that does seem to happen when you have a younger team, but this group of girls was a fun group of girls to coach,” she said. “Everybody got along. Everybody tried to improve, and they wanted to work hard for each other. They got along off the court. They’ve just been a joy to coach. It’s hard for a group of girls to get along and play like this group has and play for each other and not get upset with each other but this group of girls, even when we lost, has. I cannot emphasize how enjoyable it has been to coach them.”
The Eagles followed them up on Saturday with a home game against the Hornets but fell short by three. The final score was 67-64.
The Eagles dug themselves in a hole earlier in the game from missed baskets and not being able to cover the Hornets’ three-pointers, but they eventually closed the point margin from 20 to 3 with 5:36 left in the game.
Bad passes eventually gave the Hornets a chance to make more baskets and stretch their lead back out. Thus, the Eagles were forced to make another comeback.
Chad Barham helped his team come back with four three-pointers in the fourth period, and Tony Washington made four of six free throws in the fourth. However, that was not enough to get the W. With 37 seconds left in the game, the score was 65-59 and Quardarius Gains was able to get two more with 27.1 left.
Then South Gibson scored two more which just about sealed the game. Barham was still able to end the game on a high note with a buzzer three-point shot making the final score 67-64.
“We just dug too big of a hole early which we done several times this year,” Eagles Head Coach Collin McPherson said. “Just a little bit too big of a hole to come out of. But I’m proud of the guys’ second half. That’s the team we see every day. I’m proud of the fight they had. It would have been easy to lay down, but I know my team’s not gonna lay down on me, and they came back and made it a close game there at the end. I’m proud of them for that.”
When it comes to the season as a whole, McPherson said he believes the Eagles basketball program is progressing.
“This is the first time we hosted a region in several years, so we’re progressing. We would have liked to end the season a little better than we did, but we’re showing progress and look to build on that next year as well. We’ll have most of our guys back next year,” he said.
An end of a season means the departure to the seniors on the team, and McPherson expressed how he’ll miss his seniors Tyricus Anderson, Tony Washington, Zane Bolton and Carter Welch.
“I’m gonna miss each and everyone one of my seniors. Each and everyone of them was probably a reason we won a game or two this year. They’re all hardworking, and they’re all leaders for this team, so their presence would definitely be missed,” he said.