Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Attempt To Improve on Early Season Slumps as Playoff Near

February is right around the corner, and basketball is in full swing. Both the boys and the girls’ teams have gotten off to slow starts, but the meat of their schedule is still in front of them, and with playoffs around the corner, anything can happen. 

Thus far the boys have amassed a record of 4-5, featuring wins against Hamilton, Byron Center, and Lowell. The highlight of the year, however, came in a big rivalry win against Forest Hills Central. A late three-pointer by David Bernecker ‘22 gave the Pioneers a 43-40 lead in a game that they would go on to win 45-40.

 “It felt good to hit that shot because I missed a few shots earlier in the game. To win that game means a lot because the whole team really wanted it badly,” Bernecker said. 

Despite the slow start, EGR still has a lot of basketball in front of them, including key conference games against Northview, Byron Center, and Forest Hills Northern, along with a highly anticipated rematch against FHC. 

Star player and leading scorer Simon Neuhaus ‘23 kept it brief when asked about his plans for the rest of the season. “Win. Often,” Neuhaus said. 

That seems like a recipe for success for a team looking to repeat as district champions.

On the girls side of the ball, the team is off to a similar start. With a 5-6 record, the slow start may be attributed to a tough schedule. The team has had to battle known powerhouses such as West Catholic, Hudsonville, and Forest Hills Central. The girls best win to date was win against a very formidable Lowell team. 

“So far this season has been a bit dificult because we played a lot of very good teams,” Jasmine Honeycutt ‘23 said,  “ but  you learn more from the losses and out team is definetly getting better.” 

Despite a rough start from the field, Macy Brown ‘23 tore up the court in the second half, finishing with 29 points, including free throws to ice the game in the final minute. Couple that with the strong defense of Kate Sheridan ‘22, and sharp shooting of VV Lamange ‘24, and the girls turned in a complete performance that could be a sign that they are ready to turn the corner. 

“I hope to win conference and districts this year,” Brown said, as the team looks for their third consecutive district title. And yet, Brown has not forgotten the importance of enjoying every moment. 

“Overall, I just want to have fun while the seniors wrap up their last season.” 

Brown, who recently committed to continue her basketball career at the University of Michigan, says that it is a weight off her shoulders. 

 With the focus strictly on EGR basketball, it sounds like it’s full steam ahead to try and finish the season strong.