Girls’ Basketball Exceeds Expectations

Janie Lambert, Staff Writer

Highland has a lot of sports, and a lot of them are good. But one that truly stood out this year was the girls basketball team.

The Highland girls’ basketball team blew everyone away with its hard work and devotion to their sport and their school. They won 18 out of 22 games during the regular season, finished as region champions, and took that momentum into the state tournament.

“Our whole team has great chemistry,” guard Sophia Legate said. “Even when things got hard, we continued to work our hardest together.”

The team and their ability to get along and work together on the court was really what blew away their coach, Sala Asiata. He was incredibly impressed by their hard work and devotion to the sport.

“The unity of these girls was our big strength,” Asiata said. “Just for them to mesh well on and off the court really helped.”

Not very many people expected for the team to make it far at all. People were shocked when they qualified for the semifinals, and Asiata was incredibly proud.

“Nobody gave us a shot of making it as far as we did,” Asiata said. “Even though we didn’t finish where we wanted to, being able to get to the semifinals was a big accomplishment.”

This was Asiata’s first year as head coach. He felt like especially this being his first year, they did great and exceeded everyone’s expectations for the team.

Asiata thinks that there are more things they could work on to improve as far as playing goes. Feeling like they could all learn more about basketball and improve for their future years on the team.

Legate is one of the top players on the team, having played basketball since she was old enough to walk. She has played with many on the team, even before high school. This has helped create a strong bond amongst the players.

“The whole team is really fun to play with because we are all like sisters,” Legate said.

She feels like she could improve on some things for next year to help Highland go even further.

“I think that not getting behind and staying focused during the whole season will help me in the future,” Legate said.

To prepare for next season, most of them play basketball outside of school and can continue to practice and improve as a team. They can also work together during the pre-season and get their strengths to hopefully win the finals next year.

These girls have found their passion and strength through basketball and that has shown through the success of the 2021-22 season. As new players come in next year, it could improve their team even more. Next season could be an exciting one to follow.