It has been a thrilling season for Eastern’s girls’ varsity basketball team so far this winter, and with every game comes an opportunity. An opportunity for these dedicated young women to improve their teamwork, determination, strategy, and sportsmanship; skills that are essential for a successful season and even more essential for life. The team shares a mindset that is fueled by competition and ambition, making each player a force to be reckoned with. Those who saw their previous home game, whether through a screen or with their own eyes, could see this when the Hawks faced off against a team that was equally strong-willed as themselves.
It was a bitterly cold night on January 18th. Clouds scattered the night sky with the silver light of the moon illuminating their looming frame. The frigid winds blew harshly outside the walls of Forest Hills Eastern. On the inside, however, a lively gymnasium filled with the intense energy of those sitting in the bleachers and those playing on the court. The girls’ varsity team anxiously waited on the bench together, proudly cheering on their fellow JV team, and together they celebrated the JV victory against Ottawa Hills. Soon enough, the time came to prepare. The team ran onto the court as the JV team took their place on the bench. The rhythmic thunder of basketballs bouncing on the glossy surface of the gym floor started to echo throughout the room. The girls began to practice following a mesmeric pattern of passing and shooting. They ran up and down the court, never failing to encourage one another as they did. Shortly after warming up, however, the clock struck seven. It was game time.
The first quarter started off with a bang as junior Grace Doherty scored the first four points for the Hawks. The team’s strong defense and communication made it difficult for Ottawa Hills to catch up once senior Brooke Toigo made a basket, making the score 10 to 7. Soon enough, the Bangles bounced back with a tie of 12 to 12, but before they could shoot another basket, the ball rolled off the rim giving Logan Kirkwood (’24) the chance to steal the ball back. Kirkwood dribbled the ball down the court; another basket for the Hawks was scored, making the final score of the 1st quarter 20 to 12 – Eastern. Junior Grace Frechette kicked off the 2nd quarter by making two baskets at the line. The precision in the team’s passes to one another gave the Hawks an advantage when sophomore Hannah Bhatnagar passed the ball to Grace Doherty who made yet another amazing shot. After halftime, Forest Hills Eastern brought home the gold, beating Ottawa Hills 88 to 71.
With their incredible training, swift movements, and spectacular enthusiasm, the girls’ varsity basketball team of FHE was able to triumph above their contenders. Both teams gave it their all that night and both schools should feel proud of the hard work being invested into the season. The encouragement the players gave to one another along with their teamwork is a great representation of school spirit. It was definitely enough to make the Hawks soar. With more games to come, Eastern cannot wait to see that same energy from the girls’ varsity basketball team again.