By Vivian Collings
Suffering a loss at their Kawartha final game, the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School girls basketball team is still celebrating.
The school hasn’t had a girls basketball team for ten years until now, and they are keeping their heads in the game for the Central Ontario Secondary Schools Association (COSSA) championship on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Norwood District High School.
Rio O’Malley, guard for the team and Grade 12 student, said their favourite part of the season has been getting to be part of the monumental moment of being the first to play on a girls basketball team at the school in a decade.
“I’ve really enjoyed the season, even though it’s a little shorter than I’d like. I was able to meet a new friend. It was nice to just be a part of a great group of girls,” Rio said. “My favorite part, 110 per cent, would be the fact that this is the first time in 10 years that Hal High has had a girls basketball team. I think us all coming together to be a part of that is my favorite part.”
The team competed against Norwood District High School in their Kawartha playoff final game at HHSS on Tuesday, Nov. 8 and lost 27-44.
Rio felt the team did not play to the best of their abilities, but they are looking forward to redemption on Wednesday.
“Considering we were missing one of our best players, Avery Horner, I think we still played hard. We eventually came back into the game late in the second quarter. We just had to push ourselves to communicate, and we improved on it throughout the game,” Rio said.
Coach and HHSS teacher Mike Rieger said the team will compete in two games at COSSA.
“If we lose either game there, our season is over,” he said.
Rieger said the team has performed far above his expectations given the fact that most of them had never played competitive basketball before.
“Overall, the season has gone really well. Every week, there was noticeable improvement, and we were competitive in all of our games so far. The biggest obstacle has definitely been the lack of experience, but everyone on the team has been really open to learning the game.”
Follow the scores for the HHSS girls
basketball team at www.cossa.ca/viewScores.php?leagueid=7&schoolid=28.