Keeping their heads in the game

Girls basketball team continues into second half of season


Leannah Messenger/FHS Press

Looking towards her teammates, senior Renae Mohrbacher gets ready to receive the ball during their North Catholic game on Jan. 20.

Leannah Messenger, Managing Editor

Rolling into the second half of the season, the girls basketball team has been focused on the game and playing the best they can on the court. As of Jan. 21, the girls team has won seven of their last eight games. The team has a strong starting group who work well together, and many on the team have stepped up, including sophomore and freshman players. 

The season so far has been going well for the girls, and many of the seniors. They are growing as a team on and off the court. 

“I feel like our team bonding has gotten greater than it was last year and that we are working better as a team. I also feel like our defense this year has been better which has helped us win those tough games we have had,” senior Isabella Klenk said.  

On Jan. 3, the team won their game against Riverside 39-13, and on Jan. 6, they won their game against Mohawk 61-32. Mohawk was the defending WPIAL champion, so the win meant a lot to the team. Their next game was on Jan. 10 against Laurel, where junior Julia Mohrbacher scored 23 points and senior Renae Mohrbacher scored 13 points. Both teams had a strong defense, and the fast-paced game ended with Freedom winning 53-49. 

Their next major game was on Jan. 20, where the girls team faced their rivals, North Catholic. The team really hoped to beat North Catholic so that they could tie for section champions. In the exciting first quarter, the teams were tied for 11 and close all of the second quarter, but North Catholic led with three points by the end of the half. Into the third quarter, tensions were high and the contentious match-up was full of half-court shots at the buzzer, technical calls and working hard to get shots, with points racking up. In the end, it was a close game, but North Catholic won 51-47. 

The team has had many girls stepping up to play on the court throughout the season, and some of the freshmen have had a chance to play alongside the varsity team. They also get to bond with the girls at practice and root for the team on and off the court. 

“It is a little different playing with varsity girls in practice, mostly just because I haven’t been playing for as long as some of them and I’m not always a part of their team, but I enjoy playing with everyone either way,” freshman Sara Myer said. 

The starters are full of energy and ambition for the game, and basketball is part of their everyday lives. Winning a game is not just for the title, it’s also for themselves and the pride it brings the team. Basketball isn’t just a physical game, it’s also a mental one, and the team has something keeping them going while on the court. 

“What keeps me going is mainly my love for the game and the people I play with. I want sports to be fun, and when we are working together to win games and just enjoy the game, it’s one of the best feelings,” junior Julia Mohrbacher said, “The best strategy for getting the team together before a game is mainly having a good attitude, we can’t come into a game thinking we are going to blow a team out of the gym. We have to come in and just play basketball to the best of our abilities and work off one another to keep moving forward.”

Continuing into the second half of the season and then hopefully the playoffs, the team has goals for the rest of the season. Keeping their heads in the game and working hard as a team stays on top of that list. 

“The goals going into the second half of the season are the same as it was at the beginning of the year. That being competitive for a chance at the section title and winning every game to get a good seed in the playoffs,” head coach John Kaercher said.