Girls Mask Up for the Basketball Season

Lauren Hendershot, Reporter


Imagine running back and forth in the gym for an hour… sweat dripping down your face…your breath condensing inside of your mask, panting, suffocating, struggling to breathe in your own carbon dioxide. You scream muffled orders of “MINE!” and “I’m open!” across the gym. Do all of these things, adding the extra task of shooting the ball into the basket, and you have a picture of what our Niwot girls basketball team has to endure this season. 


Players commented on what it’s like to play basketball with a mask on. Cece Smith, a freshman on JV said, “It’s been pretty hard at times when we’re running a lot. It also makes you sweat more, and it’s harder to communicate.” Tiffany Yei on Varsity said something very similar, “I think [they are] definitely improving our fitness, and we are slowly getting used to them.”


Before their season started, players reflected on tryouts. “There were fewer girls trying out this year, so it wasn’t super stressful,” Cece said. This is her first year playing high school basketball and she says she is, “… really excited! My team works hard and we have already bonded.” Tiffany also commented, saying, “The team dynamic is better this year and we’re all pretty excited to get going and start playing, but also nervous to see how other teams have been doing [too].”


One of the girls’ games to highlight is their very first one. In Varsity’s first game against Rosevelt, Niwot got the first basket. There was no one in the stands to cheer them on, but the gym was still filled with the voices of our girls cheering for each other. In the first ten minutes it was clear that our defence was disorganized, and we were already down six points. Roosevelt was shooting free throw after free throw, making basket after basket. Carly was scrambling to retrieve the ball before it flew out of bounds, and Addy was chasing it down the court. Then the buzzer rang, putting an end to the first quarter of the game. It was a loud, low noise that every basketball player comes to love and fear.  


But by the second half of the game there were eighty-one people watching the live stream. The game had its ups and downs that had the crowd cringing at stolen passes and cheering when one of our girls would make a free throw – it was obvious how hard they were working! One of Niwot’s players even took a nasty spill and got a bloody nose, but did this make them afraid? No. Niwot pushed on with as much force as they had when the game started. Even when the game was most challenging, they still fought tooth and nail to get the ball in their hands. The disappointment on their faces was clear as they walked off the court when the game did not turn out the way they had hoped, but it was more important that these ladies showed integrity, courage, and perseverance. These traits are valuable, and I am glad to see that they are making Niwot proud. This game as well as many others reveal a lot about what it is to be a Cougar. 


Good luck on the rest of your season girls! I wish we could cheer you on from the stands, but we will still be supporting you from beyond our screens. 


For live stream viewing of these games visit Niwot High School on YouTube. 


Special Shout-out to Our Varsity Team: Adeline Ruth, Carly Toothacker, Rachel Noble, Jordyn Stewart, Mackenzie Demmel, Grace Wardle, Grace Crall, Madison Tajchman, Emily Damek, Adeline Spencer, Sophie Gebhardt, Tiffany Yie