Girls Basketball Bounces Out

Varsity team reflects on a successful season


Photo: Max Rubenstein

Katherine Jackson receives flowers from her sister Sara Jackson on Senior Night in the Pumadome.

Finishing the season with a 12-7 record, the University Prep Varsity Girl’s Basketball team made it to the second round of playoffs. In their last game, they fell short with a 25-33 loss against Granite Falls on Feb. 9.

Senior Megan Bolger has been playing basketball since third grade. At UPrep she has been on the varsity team since freshman year.

“I like the fast pace of it. I like that the score can change really quickly and that it’s an active game, but that it’s not like running long distances and that everyone gets the score,” Bolger said.

Throughout the season Bolger saw her team succeed in many areas, including an away win against Bush 26-28 on Jan. 12.

“Winning against Bush was really fun. I didn’t think we’d beat them. They’re a really tough opponent because we’re usually right next to each other in the league,” Bolger said. “The past couple of years we’ve really struggled against them, but because they graduated some of their better players, we were able to beat them. So that was definitely a highlight for me.”

Another senior, Daniella Meza, returned to basketball this season for the first time since eighth grade. Meza was unsure about trying out for high school basketball but is glad she did.

“This is my first time playing, and I was always nervous to try out for basketball. I didn’t really think that I was good enough, but this year I tried it and it’s nice being able to play on the team,” Meza said.

Meza likes how this season she was able to grow as a player.

“Throughout the season, I got to make a couple of points and free throws, which was really fun because I had never made one before, so that was exciting,” Meza said. “I also love hearing the smack of a block, it’s really satisfying.”

History teacher Andrew Schneider began playing basketball as a high schooler himself. When the previous upper school girls’ basketball coach Kyle Lawhead stepped down five seasons ago, Schneider jumped at the opportunity to take on the position. As his fifth year of coaching the upper school team came to an end, Schneider reflected on the best parts of the year.    

“I think my favorite part of this season has been watching certain players kind of grow into new roles,” Schneider said. “So seniors who previously were supporting players in past seasons now stepping up into primary scoring roles and having to carry more of the load rather than relying on seniors of past years.”

Schneider is also proud of younger players taking on more leadership.

“Kori [Billingslea], who’s our primary point guard, was previously a post player, and she stepped into the role of playing point guard this year,” Schneider said. “It’s fun to see players take on new challenges.”

Sophomore Billingslea joined the team for the first time this season after playing as a freshman at Greensboro Day School in North Carolina. One of her favorite moments from this season was during senior night on Jan. 31.

“We got a big win over Forest Ridge and everybody was there at the game,” Billingslea said. “All the vibes and stuff are really good.”

Billingslea says her hopes for the future of UPrep girls’ basketball are high, but she worries about the popularity of next year’s tryouts.

“I hope we have enough people to play next year. I know a lot of the seniors, it’s like half our team, are leaving and we have no juniors at the current moment,” Billingslea said. “So I would say, any juniors that want to play next year, you should try.”