As basketball season fades out of view, the Lady Knights reflect on a surprisingly successful season. Last year, the squad won just one game, finishing the season 1-19. This year, however, the team came together to do what no one saw coming: win a region championship. How did they do it? The answer is simple: new coaching, new players, and a newfound belief in themselves.
A few changes were facilitated this season, beginning with the hiring of a new head coach, Chris Camp. Camp was also hired as the new Athletic Director at TKA. Coach Camp emphasized the importance of team chemistry all season long.
“I think the team bonded so well this year because of how essential each person is to the way we function,” said senior point guard Kylie Nelson. “We all play different roles at different times and we all need each other, whereas some other teams will have one specific super-star who does most of the work. In addition, Coach Camp and Coach K [Kristen Camp] have been a huge part of improving our team chemistry.”
Every member of the team made it their goal to always be positive. They all decided that they could only improve from last season and decided to make the most of what they had.
“I think we were able to bond so well as a team this season because we all share a love for the sport,” said senior shooting guard Lauren Cox. “We are always trying to build each other up and encourage one another. At practice, we are always trying to make each other laugh and make the environment as fun as possible.”
The season has not been a breeze, not by a long shot. The Lady Knights played their fair share of tough games. However, through every struggle, the girls took those challenges to learn and grow as a team.
“In my opinion, our hardest game was our second one against New Creation,” said Nelson. “It was the hardest because both teams were evenly matched, but it seemed no calls were going our way. The way we responded was by turning up the intensity without being sloppy. We ended up losing by six, but that game really helped us develop our press break and keep our composure under pressure.”
Everything came together when the Lady Knights were crowned region champions. All the hard work and resilience paid off as soon as the trophy was lifted into the air.
“My favorite moment from this season was definitely when we won our region,” said junior forward Rylee Pierce. “We had come a long way from the beginning of the season. It felt amazing to win, for sure.”