Girls basketball team looks to future


Haley Williams

Freshman Kenadee Winfrey dribbles down the court in the Feb. 19 game against Amarillo High, the team they eventually faced in the regional finals.

The girls walk onto the court, cheers echoing in the large gym. They belong there, with the eagle painted across the floor and the purple bleachers filled with fans. On their jerseys are numbers, which are almost synonymous with the players wearing them. Winings, 2. Willis, 5. Cunyus, 3. Rolan, 12. Davis, 21.

The girls basketball playoff run ended in the regional tournament finals against Amarillo High, leaving the team with a season record of 30-4. For five seniors, it was their last true high school game.

“We played well as a team, we had good defense and we didn’t turn the ball over,” senior Channing Cunyus said. “It was just little things that ended up making us lose. There were a couple calls that should have been called, and we missed some wide-open layups.”

I know the whole team wanted to go to state and carry on our streak of winning for the past four years.”

— Blaire Winings, 12

All five seniors graduating were starters, leaving the team with a gap to fill.

“Obviously, this season didn’t end the way I wanted, as a senior especially,” senior Blaire Winings said. “I know the whole team wanted to go to state and carry on our streak of winning for the past four years. It was disappointing and sad and heartbreaking, especially to lose to our rivals, Amarillo High. But it happens. You can’t win them all.”

Cunyus said moving to 4A next school year will benefit the future team.

“Only us five seniors were really familiar with going to state, so all the younger girls don’t really understand that whole process and how hard it is,” Cunyus said. “Now that they saw it and experienced losing, I think they’ll definitely be more together and more determined next year to do well. It will be a building year because everybody is so young and inexperienced.”

Winings said as a senior, she had the responsibility of being a leader within the team.

“This year our team was very young, and it was fun teaching the younger girls all the traditions,” Winings said. “We always had a lot of fun at team meals the night before every game. Those will be remembered.”

The motto of the team for the season was “together as one.”

Just work hard in everything you do, and you will be rewarded for that.”

— Blaire Winings, 12

“Instead of everyone playing for themselves, we were playing all together as one,” Winings said. “Basketball has taught me a lot on and off the court. I’ve learned to work hard. Work hard in everything you do, and you will be rewarded for that.”

Winings said it was an honor to play in coach Joe Lombard’s basketball program.

“He’s a great coach, and it’s a wonderful program, obviously very successful,” Winings said. “Being a Lady Eagle is really an opportunity of a lifetime. In my four years of high school, I have three state medals, and that just makes it even more special.”