By Isabel Kettler – The squeak of athletic shoes against the polished wood of a gymnasium floor is a familiar sound for the women of the Lincoln High Varsity Girls Basketball team. They are continuously working to improve their game and compete well.
Coach Jeffery Pierce said, “We are not the same team as a year ago; everyone has been assuming different roles.” New players on the team and team members that had not experienced playing together in addition to players who had to learn their positions as they played in the first games of the season presented numerous opportunities for the team to grow and gain more wins so far than all last season, which ended with a record of three wins to twenty-three losses.
This perseverance and dedication showed when, early in the season, the Links won against North Platte. And just before the winter break, they beat Lincoln North Star. Burton remembered a standout game against Grand Island where co-captain Kalli Novak scored the last basket the team needed.
But the team still had a long way to go. “We are nowhere [near] where we would like to be,” said Pierce, “However, we are
more disciplined and running our offenses more efficiently.”
One of the toughest games the Links played all year was against Fremont, who beat them by 23 points. Senior co-captain Halle Burton noted another particularly tough team was Omaha Westside.
“Last season they won the state championship, so they’re coming off a state championship and an undefeated season.” The Links lost to Omaha Weside 30-56. The Links also dealt with a loss against Lincoln Southeast after taking a lead late in the game.
Pierce said, “We have had quite a few games in which we have played well for stretches, but need to finish.”
One thing that stands out about the team is their deep devotion to the game. Both captains have been playing on the varsity team since at least their sophomore years.
Novak said her favorite moments are when “we’re actually having fun, and we’re not super serious… just having fun, and getting along.”
Off the court, one thing Pierce emphasizes is student involvement.
“If someone has the interest and is willing to do what is necessary, they can contribute to the program,” he said.
Getting involved in multiple sports and activities can make all the difference in a student’s life.
Pierce said, “Lincoln High has a great deal of tradition. Be a part of it.”