Briar Woods Girls Basketball Falls to Woodgrove in the State Semifinals

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Rylyn Christopher, Reporter

On Monday night, Briar Woods Girls Basketball ended their season in a devastating loss against Woodgrove.

The rivalry between the two teams runs deep as they are top two seeds in the district. 

It is not uncommon for student sections to boo the opposing team, but Woodgrove students took it upon themselves to turn their backs to the court while the Briar Woods starters were announced. Despite this, the girls were able to stay locked in, and at the end of the first quarter, the score was 13-5, Briar in the lead. 

Briar lost to Woodgrove twice during the regular season and in both the district and regional championship games. Although they were coming in as the underdog, the girls were able to keep a steady lead throughout the entire game. When it came to shooting, Briar Woods was on fire. At the half the score was 28-15 with the help of sophomores Noelle Cabiness, who scored 6, and Jadyn Shin, with a clutch 3 pointer giving them the 13-point lead going into the third quarter. Additionally, senior guard Ainsley Veatch made 4 three pointers, which helped them to stay ahead. She ended up having 14 points total. Sophomores Hope Drake and Cabiness both had 11 points. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Taylor Price hustled to help the Falcons hold onto their lead. When interviewed, Head Coach Raven Short said, “I just think that her energy is contagious, and she was able to do so many things defensively, from recovering quickly to rebounding to guarding one of their best players to keeping us connected as a unit with her communication. I also think that Tia Chen (sophomore) played really well on Sadie; I think that Noelle and Avery (sophomores) did a great job of protecting the paint, but Taylor was able to bring so many attributes to us defensively.”

Going into the fourth quarter, the score was 38-34. Woodgrove continued to make a comeback and eventually took the lead with five minutes left. Hope Drake drove to the basket hoping to score the lay up and draw a foul, which would have allowed them to be up by one point in the final seconds. Drake was fouled over the back, but refs didn’t call any sort of foul on the play. The seconds on the clock winded down to zero, with the final score being 50-47. 

Coach Short mentioned her proudest moment from the season was “when we beat Massaponax High School in overtime. We had a 15 or 16 point lead going into the fourth quarter and then scored a single point in the fourth. Then to have them tie it up on two free throws, everyone there rushed the court and [the Falcons] were able to pull through that. I can’t say enough about the maturity they showed in that moment.” Regardless of the end result, the girls played an incredible game. They have upheld Briar’s reputation of being a dominating force in girls basketball. The Falcons have much to be proud of as they have accomplished great things this season.