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Opening Hearts, Closing Zoos: How The Lady Falcons Win

Christian Brothers did it again this year, beating St. Francis in the annual Holy Hoops basketball game. For the second consecutive year, the Lady Falcons have shown us how hard work pays off. With another win, the zoo is not simply “caged” — the zoo is closed. Tigers, lions, giraffes — they’re long gone back […]

Christian Brothers did it again this year, beating St. Francis in the annual Holy Hoops basketball game. For the second consecutive year, the Lady Falcons have shown us how hard work pays off. With another win, the zoo is not simply “caged” — the zoo is closed. Tigers, lions, giraffes — they’re long gone back to their homes in the wild.

This 2019-2020 school year has been on a roll this year with our student athletes dominating against our rival teams, starting with the iconic Holy Bowl win now to our Lady Falcons shutting it down on the court, showing the Troubies who is in charge.

Though the ladies did come through with that win, for most of the game the score was pretty close or tied. The second half started with CB up 26-25, but it wasn’t until after halftime when CB pulled away with a comfortable lead.

“I think after halftime we realized in the locker room how bad we wanted it and we knew that we could win the game,” Sarah Jackson (‘21) says. “Our defense also got better, we shared the ball and the team worked together as one.”

Dealing with the pressure and rivalry of these games requires the right attitude and a steady mindset.

Sarah Jackson and Bria Shine celebrate before the game.

“Our team’s energy comes from our chemistry and having a positive mindset going into every game,” Sarah says. “We were confident in ourselves, trusted each other, and had adrenaline to play in Holy Hoops, all the while staying composed during the game.”

A week before the annual ladies Holy Hoops, the Jesuit and CB boys also went at it on the court that resulted in a devastating loss for Christian Brothers by only one point. UC Davis commit Bria Shine (‘20) shared how that loss affected their readiness for their match.

“I was hoping the boys would catch [the win], just so we could mop our biggest rival of all victories [and have] that bond and that game to relate to,” Bria explained, “That whole week before St. Francis, all we did was run and make free throws, we were really focused on the little stuff that we saw interfere [the boy’s game].”

The team’s drive and focus on correcting minor errors helped Bria lead the team with 18 points and 8 rebounds as she plays her 4th and final year on the Varsity Basketball team.

“I’m more of an offensive threat than I have been in the past and just realizing I am a game changer,” she says. “I need to encourage my teammates to pass, make good plays and decisions. I’ve become a leader and a scorer.”

Committing senior year to a D-I college can be stressful and overwhelming, but Bria proved she could not only work under pressure, but thrive as well.

“People think since I committed that it might be less stressful, but no I’m constantly trying to prove myself because they could take that scholarship away. I spoke to my Davis coach the day before and she really reassured me I’m on the team for a purpose, and to give my all on the court.”

Bria going up for a layup.

The CB student section did a good job of showing Bria and the girls their support and spirit.

“CB started chanting ‘UC Davis, UC Davis’, and that really got me going. We were expected to win this, we had a D1 commit… did they?”

It was easy to notice some tension between Bria and St. Francis guard Mia Fleming, so the Talon wondered if it was the rivalry of the game or the skill level that increased the energy on the court.

“I think in the game of basketball, she got into her feelings a little bit. I had to play through it, endure through it and at the end of the day we still got that dub. I respect her and she respects me,” Bria says. “It was simply the rivalry and game.”

Every year the varsity team changes as they introduce new girls with new personality and skill.

“My freshman and sophomore year, the varsity team wasn’t as young and we had a lot of seniors. Junior year came we started to become a little more young so we had to focus on making the right decision and correct play.”

Bria notes that it’s more than the skill that makes this team so special.

“We always play with heart and together, when we call out in our huddle together on three, we all want it together. That’s important to have — team camaraderie”

Karli Cooper (‘22) starts as a sophomore on varsity team and shares how her age doesn’t change a thing for the skill and motivation of the team.

“When we are on the court, no matter what grade level, everyone plays as one strong unit and held to the same high expectations.” Karli passionately said. “Being the youngest on the team definitely keeps me motivated and pushes me to work harder everyday. I want to improve from where I am and a strong work ethic will help me achieve my goals.”

Karli scored a whopping 11 points for the Varsity team against the Troubies, showing her growth as a player and leader.

“Since this is my second year starting on this team, I’ve become a more dominant leader which makes me feel excited for the future. I know if I’m making a positive impact now, good things will happen as I grow these next years.”

The bond of this team has also inspired her to love this game even more.

“I constantly look up to the rest of my team — they are all skilled and contribute to our success in different ways. They help me improve my game by creating a competitive and fun atmosphere during practice, always pushing me to do my best.”

Laney Prichard (‘20) returned to the varsity basketball team this season after taking a year off to focus on school and her job.

“It was hard decision for me to make coming back or not,” the senior said. “I had to weigh the importance of my job instead of playing basketball, but decided to play since it was my senior year.”

“I’m really glad I did play. Being able to win against St. Francis was really special and it made all our struggles in our preseason and hard work with it.”

Laney says her relationship with Bria encouraged her coming back.

“Bria is the only one on the team all four years, but I’ve played with her since 6th grade, so it was a really natural transition when I came back. We all bring something different to the team, and it’s really fun to be able to all combine our talents together.”

Wins like Holy Bowl and Holy Hoops mean a lot to the senior class and the school community as a whole, and it’s nice to know we, as seniors, can look back to our last year with so many good memories. The seniors this year show how hard work truly does pay off, and these girls prove how a special team bond improves their skill in the game.

Continue to support our Lady Falcons as they finish off the season and prepare to dominate in playoffs starting Tuesday February 18.

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