2016-2017 State 1A Basketball Champions

2017 Girls Basketball



            Basketball season is really the longest sports season of them all. Athletes begin early November and can finish as late as mid-March. However, for a “long” season, the 2016-17 basketball season seemed to simply fly by! Much was accomplished in those 15 weeks… goals were set, belief barriers were shattered, bonds were strengthened, trophies were won, and MANY precious memories were made.

            The theme for the season was determined the first day of practice…RISE UP! However, our season didn’t begin on the first day of practice, it began in the locker room at the state tournament last year when Mr. Crawford announced, “Only 365 days until you can come back here”. Even though we were disappointed we had not earned the state championship, we were determined to RISE UP and come back even stronger than before! The ultimate goal of earning a state championship was set, but smaller, more immediate goals were what our team focused on daily. Going hard and pushing each other in practice was a daily focus, but then trying to win each possession and being “hungry” for the ball was what the girls concentrated on during each game.

            Even though we had never done it before, our team whole heartily believed we could earn a state championship. This was the fourth straight year of making it to the state tournament, but this time we wanted a different outcome. Sometimes belief barriers seem as if they are made of granite, but with each passing week, we chipped away at them, until we were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some of the big games that gave our team confidence and helped us do this were the Holiday Tournament Championship against Holly; the regular season match-up with Fleming and Kiowa; the District Tournament Championship against Eads; the Regional win against McClave; and the first round game of the State Tournament with Nucla. In the second round of the State Tournament, we faced the team that knocked us out of the running for the championship last year, the South Baca Patriots. This was a fun game! I guess you could say there was a bit of a revenge factor involved, but more than that, our team was simply determined to “play all out”, which is exactly what we did. As satisfying as it was to defeat South Baca, we knew there was still more work to be done. The girls left the court excited, but focused. We entered the championship game against Fleming determined to not only compete, but to dominate! From the opening tip, that was pretty much what happened. Even though we led all the way through the game, our players kept a “game face” on and didn’t allow themselves to celebrate until our lone senior, Shayla Bogenhagen, was substituted out with around two minutes to go in the game. As the final seconds ticked down, the joy and excitement of knowing all our hard work had paid off finally boiled over and the girls exploded with a dog pile at center court! The vision of the girls going crazy and jumping on each other will always be ingrained in my memory!

            The 2016-17 basketball season will forever be special. It will be remembered for the season the Kit Carson Lady Wildcats “Rose Up”, shattered belief barriers, and finished what past Lady Wildcat teams started…EARN THE COLORADO 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!