Girls basketball section champs for second year


Rolling into the end of the regular season and the beginning of playoffs, the girls basketball team has won the title of 2023 Section Champions. With a record of 17-4, the team continued to fight for their title and came out on top. With two players reaching 1000 points in their career, and a group effort on and off the court, the team looks to continue strong into the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) playoffs. 

They faced off against South Side on Jan. 19, where they dominated with a score of 58-26. From there they traveled to Shenango on Jan. 23, however, after a tough game they lost 57-62. They then won 71-14 against Sewickley Academy at home, which was their senior night where seniors were honored with a procession before the game. Shaye Bailey led with 26 points and Julia Mohrbacher trailed right behind scoring 23 points.

After another section win, the girls faced off against Aliquippa on Feb. 6. Pushing through the rest of the game, with tip-offs back and forth, the girls secure the win 73-42. This was an important game for Bailey, who accomplished 1000 points for her basketball career. Not to mention, she also broke the school record for most points scored in a game, scoring 51 points, beating the previous record of 45. 

“Everyone was saying congratulations on 1000 points and then he [coach] said congratulations on breaking the school record and I was like— ‘what?’ and then I just broke down in tears. I was not expecting that,” Bailey said. 

With one final section game, the team was up against New Brighton on Feb. 9, away. Keeping up with their scoring, and working as a team on the court, they achieved the win 60-16. In this game, Bailey led with 18 points, and sophomore Olivia Henderson with 11 points.

The girls basketball team now looks towards the playoffs, coming in with a new perspective after one of their top point scorers, Bailey, is out for the rest of the season. During a fervent game on Feb. 13, Bailey broke her collarbone on the court against Central Valley. Not being able to play the rest of the game, and sadly, is not able to continue for the playoffs. 

The team hopes to stay on top and showed this when they went against Carlynton on Feb. 17 for their first WPIAL playoff game, where they crushed with a score of 57-24. 

“I feel like we can make another WPIAL and states run, but we can’t let knowing that we win one game we’re already in states, we can’t get that in our head. We just gotta keep going, pushing and practicing, like we do,” Bailey said. 

As of Feb. 18, their next playoff game is on Feb.22 against Chartiers Houston. 

Looking forward, the girls hope to continue to build off their momentum so far this season, work as a team in all ways, focus on communication and show the playoff teams what the Freedom girls basketball team is made of.