On February 6 at 7 p.m., the Griffith Lady Panthers basketball team faced the Calumet Lady Warriors in the sectional game hosted by Griffith High School.
“It was a really memorable moment because we had our seniors and they haven’t been able to win anything yet, so having us all together made it all the better,” said junior Cierra Pipkins.
Griffith High School was given the opportunity to host sectionals due to another team forfeiting the hosting due to COVID-19-related issues. Griffith High School took this opportunity to show their school spirit and hard work throughout the season.
“Hosting sectionals made the experience more memorable,” said junior Kelsey Price. “We had the advantage of playing on our home court, and no bus travel was needed as well. Overall, hosting and winning sectionals was truly an experience that I won’t forget.”
The Lady Panthers broke a streak this year by winning a sectional game for the first time in seven years and also making a regional appearance for the first time in 13 years.
“Our past coach told us to leave this program in better shape than we found it,” said senior and starter Julissa Hamm. “Freshman year, our record was 6-18, sophomore year 13-12, junior year 15-9, and senior year was 13-4 with a regional appearance for the first time in 13 years. As a senior I had the honor of leaving this program better than I found it.”
This year was Coach Ken Anderson’s first year coaching at Griffith. Many players credited Anderson and the coaching team for the team’s major improvements this season.
“Coach Anderson helped us get better defensively, and his arrival helped the team come closer together,” said junior Jaecy Nelson.
Ending with a record of 13-4, it’s safe to say the Griffith girls basketball team made large strides in the right direction this year.
“We really wanted to win the sectional this year. It was our number one goal from the first practice on,” said Anderson. “The girls did a great job in accomplishing that goal.”
The Lady Panther’s broke records at Griffith High School this year, bringing three out of the team’s five starters – Ariel Esquivel, Julissa Hamm, Marisa Esquivel – into the top ten scorers in Griffith High School history.
“Being one of the three athletes on the team to make it in the top ten scorers in Griffith High School history was a really great accomplishment, especially because I’ve played basketball since I was little and I want to continue to work even harder to get even higher next year,” said junior Marisa Esquivel.
The sectional game ended in a score of 53-26, earning the team yet another win this season.