VWS Varsity basketball celebrates a League win on Senior Night

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Gaby Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg

The team’s senior players, (pictured from left to right) Leeann Shu (‘22), Bianca Arteaga (‘22), Marie Blake (‘22), and Allison Paik (‘22), pose next to a banner following the incredibly close, yet gratifying game. They are wearing crowns and sashes, and holding bouquets that were given to them by their team members.

Three minutes left on the clock. The score is 46-48. Players on both teams are dripping with sweat, giving it their all to ensure their team pulls through. Having previously played at St. Margarets on January 24th and losing with a score of 24-47, the stakes were even higher. Just as it seems all hope for a VWS victory is lost, team captain Marie Blake (’22) sinks a three-pointer, securing a narrow victory for her team by one point.

As the buzzer goes off, members of the VWS varsity basketball team shout with joy, and the players on the bench run up to embrace their seniors. They celebrate their hard-earned victory and the contributions of the seniors, who have just played their senior game.

“I’m just so extremely proud of all of my seniors,” Francesca Lascano (‘23) said. “They’ve been working hard all year and everything has led up to this moment. I’m also glad that we won by one point because that means we’re just so, so, so, much better.”

It was abundantly clear, even from the stands, that the underclassmen adored and respected their seniors, relying on their leadership to help set the game’s pace This kind of team chemistry is necessary for a successful season, and it is largely due to how the seniors created a space where players felt like they had room to grow while being supported the whole time.

“I love the seniors so much, they’re such an inspiration,” Finley Ashenmiller (‘25) said. “They’re all super kind to the freshmen despite us all making fun of them constantly. They really treat the game as it is. They’re just the best.”

Once a cohesive team has been formed, the real challenge is communicating during games and becoming familiar with the smartest way to play. During their practices, the seniors taught the younger members how to handle any situation that came their way by applying their previous experience on the team.
Every spectator at the senior game (COVID rules only allowed for parents and approved guests to attend) was on the edge of their seat from start to end, as the score stayed incredibly close the entire time. Unfortunately, Webb lost the sizable lead that they had accumulated in the first quarter, which evened out the score. The viewers crossed their fingers and yelled supportive chants, encouraging the players, especially the seniors, to keep pushing for those last few points that they would need to pull ahead. As the ball flew out of Marie’s hands and into the basket, the joy on everyone’s faces was clear as day.

However, there was still some time left on the clock, so if the VWS basketball team wanted to win, they now needed to prevent St. Margarets, their opponents, from scoring. Even a simple free-throw would tie up the score and victory would slip out of their grasp.

Determined to win their senior game, each and every player gave the remaining minutes their all, and they were successfully able to keep the score as it was.

The seniors all had a chance to shine, contributing to the win by working together:

  • Allison Paik made 50% of the two-point shots and a third of the three-pointers.
  • Leeann Shu led the team in blocks, with 15 blocks in a game, and she also had a clutch steal that was vital in keeping St. Margarets from scoring.
  • Bianca Arteaga made 67% of the game’s two-point shots and played so aggressively that she fouled out in the fourth quarter.
  • Lastly, Marie Blake scored 25 points and made the crucial three-pointer that secured the team’s win.

“I feel like we all put in 110% effort in our senior game,” Allison Paik (‘22) said. “We lost our game last week and now we came back, showing who we really were.”

As the season comes to an end, the seniors reminisce about their time in basketball and the effect the team has had on their lives. This senior night reflected the hard work they have put into playing for Webb, and this effort truly paid off.

“I’m really proud of how we all came together towards the end of the game, and I can’t wait for the rest of my team’s success next year,” Marie Blake (‘22) said.

The gallery of photos above provides images of the rewarding night, including the small pre-game ceremony that was held to honor the senior players.