By Taylor Clayton
The North Eugene girl’s basketball team had a great 2013-2014 season. They won 10 of their 24 games and ended the year ranking 19th in state. Varsity Head Coach Burdy Smith commented “I think the season went well. We had some challenges early, playing against some really good teams. We had a lot of really young kids. I think as the year progressed we grew and improved and I would say it was a good season.” Coach Smith is referring to their first 3 games against Roseburg, Sheldon, and Corvallis. Each game North had lost by a minimum of 10 points, but they turned the season around when they traveled to Sweet Home and left with a 68-34 win. That night was the beginning of a 5 game winning streak for the North Eugene girls that included going 3-0 in the Les Schwab South Coast Holiday Tournament. The championship game against the hosts of the tournament, Marshfield, ended after overtime with the Highlanders in the lead 60-56. Their next game was a 46-59 loss against Silverton quickly followed by 3 victories against McKay, South Eugene, and Thurston. North went on to have 2 more wins and 10 losses. Among the losses the Highlanders played Marist High School twice with close outcomes. The final scores were 39-40 and 40-44. The two closest games the Highlanders didn’t win. Their last game of the season, held at Silverton, kicked them out of the playoffs with a 32-50 loss. The whole season was full of close games, come backs, and even a few injuries.
The future is bright for the North Eugene girl’s basketball team considering a majority of the athletes are going to be sophomores and juniors for the 2014-2015 season. The team is only saying goodbye to two seniors this year, but they will be widely missed by the coaches and the players. Even though circumstances have changed over the course of the winter season the girls who have a passion for basketball continue to dedicate hours upon hours of their free time to getting better. When asked what his favorite part of coaching the girl’s basketball team was, Coach Burdy Smith said, “I love their commitment. I love the fact that they show up every day and want to work hard and want to learn, want to grow. I like to compete and we’ve got some girls that are strong competitors and so it’s just fun to be around them.” The girl’s basketball program has great potential in the years to come.