A basketball season is always about the journey and not the destination. It is the journey that creates the memories, the friendships, and the unity. The destination can be the icing on the journey cake, but it can never spoil the journey. That is true for the 2018-2019 Lady Cavalier basketball team.
The goal was simple from the outset and never changed – win the 2019 SCACS 1A State Championship. “That was our focus all season,” said coach Joe Canney. “We talked a lot about the ‘road to Columbia’ but the reason we wanted to travel to Columbia was not to participate in the State Tournament but to win it.” It seemed like a realistic goal as the team finished the regular season with a 15-3 overall record including 8-0 in their region. “We improved with every game and we had been in a lot of different types of ballgames. We were prepared, no doubt,” added Coach Canney.
Things started well for the Lady Cavs as they won their semi-final game against Temple Christian Academy 37-31. Eight different players scored, led by Lily Wickiser’s 9 points and Caroline Lamb’s 8 points. That set up a championship game against Union Christian Day School.
“We felt ready and prepared,” said Senior Captain Caroline Lamb. “We knew Union was a good team and we knew we had a good game plan.” That game plan was unique for the Lady Cavs. “We are a team that likes to push the pace and push the tempo. But as we studied Union we felt we had the best chance to win if we made it a half court game,” said Coach Canney.
The game plan worked well through the first half. After being down early 11 to 6, the Lady Cavs took control of the game by outscoring Union 12 to 4 in the second quarter. The Lady Cavs went to the break up 18 to 15.
“At that point we felt good about our chances to win the game,” said Senior Captain Zoe Wickiser. “We knew there was a lot of game left, but we felt we were in control.”
The Lady Cavs continued to control the game and tempo well into the third quarter. “We were executing really well on defense. Our offense was playing well too, but we were not scoring many buckets,” commented Coach Canney. Things started to go Union’s way late in the third as they scored a few quick baskets. That continued in the fourth as momentum swung their way. The Lady Cavs would not quit though.
“This is a tough team. We were down as many as 7 or 8 late in the game. But our girls did not panic. They fought back and cut the lead to one. I thought we were going to pull it out, but we came up just short,” said Coach Canney. The final score was 36-32 Union. The result was not what the team desired but the program is bigger than one game.
“After we lost, Coach would not let us hang our heads. We had done all we could, even going back to the summer. So we wanted to win but that is not how it ended up. We still had a successful season and we are proud of that,” said Zoe Wickiser.
For the championship game, Caroline and sophomore Wren Sconyers each had 8 points. Zoe added 6 points, Caroline pulled down 10 rebounds, and Junior Captain Kaitlin Curnow had 4 assists.
The SCACS 1A championship game also marked the end of three Lady Cavs’ high school careers as seniors Annaleigh Cutliff, Zoe Wickiser, and Caroline Lamb (pictured below) each suited up for the last time. The 2019 senior class left a lasting impression along with big shoes to fill for the future.
For the season the Lady Cavs finished with a record of 16 – 4. Wren Sconyers led the team in scoring coming in at 8.9 points per game. Caroline Lamb was the second leading scorer at 8.4 points per game and both Wickiser girls, freshman Lily and senior Zoe, scored more than 100 points for the season.
“It has been a great experience for my teammates and me,” said Caroline Lamb, who concludes her career after playing in every game of Lady Cavalier history. “It didn’t end the way we wanted, but this season and all the basketball seasons have exceeded anything I could have thought of when I signed up to play my freshman year. I am so proud of these girls and I know they will do great things in the future.”