by Michelle Brooks| staff writer
In the past two years, the girls basketball team has made it to playoffs but have never made it past the second round. However, on February 19, the girls beat Brandeis and advanced to the third round. Although they ultimately ended up losing to Steele, this accomplishment is still a first for the school.
“Knowing that my team this year was able to get here and, with us being so positive all the time and being able to build relationships, we kinda [have] grown well together and our little strengths work together to make a big impact. And it means a lot that we can make school history,” senior Jazmin Taylor said.
Earlier in the season, the players, along with head coach Stephanie Desmarais, set a goal to make it all the way to state and to prove to other schools that they could be successful, according to junior Josie Larson.
“I did feel that we could make state because we came so far already and no one thought that we could,” Larson said. “But we did and we proved that we belonged to go to state.”
In fact – according to Larson, this year’s team was one of the best teams she has ever played on at Johnson.
“The team was the best it’s ever been. I’ve never experienced just the joy of coming to practice even though sometimes I [didn’t] want to. But, I knew that my teammates were gonna be there, which made it even better because they’re the best team that I’ve ever played with,” Larson said.
Although they lost, the seniors still were happy with the results of their last season at Johnson.
“Being a senior, being a captain, it feels good knowing that I was able to help get my team [to playoffs] by being a leader and kind of just being able to have all that support behind me,” Taylor said. “Being that it’s my last year it means a lot.”
The four seniors on the team led the team in an extraordinary way, which helped the team work together better.
“I think they did a very good job of leading by example. All of our seniors, for the most part this year, [tended] to be kind of quiet,” Desmarais said. “In terms of they’re not overly loud people. I mean they’re very social; the point being they lead by example. So I think they did a great job.”
However, the possibility of making it even further in the playoffs is still plausible for the team in the future.
“You know the nice thing about being here at Johnson is we get kids that are talented, that have played basketball for years. A lot of our kids play AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] basketball so, because of that, we tend to always have an inflow of talent. And the girls that are still here that are not graduating – the ones that are returning varsity players are very talented basketball players,” Desmarais said.