The Park Center girls basketball team retreated into their locker room – faces glum, shoulders slouched.
This wasn’t good. This was only halftime.
But in the midst of getting steamrolled early and often in the first half of the Pirates Class 3A, Section 3 championship game match-up with DeLaSalle, there was little hope for a turnaround at the break.
Regardless of their effort over the final 18 minutes, the game had already been all but decided.
DeLaSalle certainly knew it, and by the looks of the girls from Park Center, the Pirates new as well.
“We knew who their shooters were, and they just torched us,” said Park Center head coach Patty Sorensen. “They were just on fire. There wasn’t much we could do.”
What was most surprising to Park Center was the way unfolded.
The Pirates had their season end in this same game and against the same opponent each of the past two years, but both of those defeats were close.
This one never really was.
The Islanders led 12-6 in the very early stages, and that lead would a balloon to 23-9, 35-16, 41-19 and eventually the 53-23 edge DeLaSalle took into the intermission.
Park Center played them tighter in the second half, but it did little to alter the outcomes, as the Pirates went down 80-48.
“I was proud of them in the second half,” said Sorensen. “They came out and they fought and kept battling and playing hard and doing what we needed them to do. We relaxed a little more. We just played too tight in the first half, and DeLaSalle shot the lights out.”
Park Center finished its season with an 18-11 record, which matched last year’s win total and gave the Pirates consecutive winning seasons for the first time in the last decade.
“I saw a lot of good things happen this year with the kids,” said Sorensen. “We played a lot more aggressive and stronger and more physical. We had ups and downs this season, but we looked at the things we were doing and we tried to build on that and get better, and I think we did.”
Contact Nick Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org