ROAD TO WELLS
Girls Basketball fights to make it to state for the fourth year in a row.
March 3, 2023
Round One: Wahawks Defeat Ames in Sub-State Game
On Saturday Feb. 18, the Wahawks hosted the Ames Little Cyclones in the first sub-state game of the season. The Wahawks will continue their road to the state basketball season after defeating the 7-15 school.
With an immediate lead, the starting lineup worked together to score 18 points for the Wahawks in the first quarter of the game. The Wahawks held this lead for the entire quarter, moving to the second quarter with a score of 18-2.
Seniors Sahara Williams and Halli Poock were the point carriers for the Wahawks with 20 points each despite Ames’ defense. The Wahawks held their lead throughout the entire game.
In the second quarter, the Wahawks put up a strong defense, allowing only 8 points from Ames. As their defense worked hard, the offense worked harder. With 21 more points coming from the Wahawks the girls entered half time with a 39-10 score.
Continuing on with a strong game, West high gained 26 more points in the second half of the game, Ames earning only four more points resulting in a 65 – 14 finish for the game.
“We are happy for our athletes as they have worked hard to become very good players,” says Head Coach Anthony Pappas after the girls bring home their 21st win of the season.
For a good portion of the second half of the game, many of the starting players sat out, allowing for other athletes to get playing time. Sophomore Sydnie Wass was a part of this group. “It feels great knowing that we are now only one step away from making it to state again,” she says. This is Wass’ second year with the basketball team, she starts JV and dresses varsity where she often gets playing time during games like these where the Wahawks gain a strong lead against the opposing team.
Wass states that the goal of her team is not making it to state, but to go all the way. She has high confidence in her team and coaches and is excited to get redemption from last years second place finish. “I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to play with these girls and be around them. Not many people get the chance to be on a team like this and I feel so privileged to be a part of it,” she says.
Within the Wahawk victory was a personal victory for Poock who beat a record for the most career points in Wahawk history, Poock also earned her 2000th career point.
TICKET PUNCHED: Wahawks Defeat Waukee and Qualify for State
Tuesday Feb. 21, the Wahawks hosted Waukee in the final sub-state game of the season. The 21-1 Wahawks faced the 11-11 Warriors as the two teams fought for their spot at the state championship tournament.
As the seniors stepped onto their home court for the final time in their career, only one thing was on their minds, a victory. The last matchup between the teams resulted in a loss for the Wahawks by 23 points in 2020. “Turn the tables, it’s our year,” says assistant coach Andrea Herold as the coaching staff prepared the team for a strong fight.
A rough start gave the Warriors a lead over the Wahawks as the Waukee defense held back senior Halli Poock in the first quarter, resulting in a 15-22 score as they headed into the second quarter.
The intense fight for a spot in the state tournament had the lead being tossed around between the two teams as they both put their all into the game.
The fourth quarter left everyone holding their breath as the lead continued to go back and forth between the two teams. With just two minutes left in the game, the Wahawks were down and the gym filled with anticipation. In the last 45 seconds, the Wahawks scored two points and held back the Warriors from scoring, leaving the Wahawks with a 69-68 win.
As the Wahawks punched their ticket to state, the student section charged the court to celebrate with their peers. Assistant Coach AJ Cassidy, spent his birthday coaching the girls to a fourth consecutive state tournament. “The real present here was the win,” he says, adding that this was “probably the best night of my coaching career so far.”
The energy in the room is something that reminds the community of the pride we have in the Wahawks. The screaming, jumping and even crying shows the love and hope we have always had in our girls for carrying us to a state championship for four years in a row.
The Wahawks saw a lot from junior Charlotte Gettman as her offense and defense pulled through to assist in the victory. “Honestly my best career game so far, I’m just proud of all the hard work that I’ve put in,” Gettman says after starting her season late due to a medical issue prior to the season starting.
Senior Sahara Williams, the point carrier for the game with 33 points, encourages all of her peers to join them as they battle at the state tournament. “Monday, Thursday, Friday. Be there,” she says. Williams says she is hoping to make it all the way this year and claim the state championship title.
Alongside Williams was senior Cece Moore who scored 13 points for the Wahawks. After the intense game, Moore said she was proud of her team but stressed for the battle ahead. Her goal this year is as it is every year, “To win every single game, go to the championship, and then win that,” she says.