Remsen St. Mary’s girls basketball’s historic season came to an end in the semifinal round at the state tournament on Friday afternoon. The Hawks fell to the top-ranked Golden Bears of Bishop Garrigan by a score of 73-39.
The Hawks were tasked with finding an answer for the state’s best scorer in Audi Crooks. The future Cyclone stands 6’3” and scored 42 points in the state quarterfinal round. Head Coach Scott Willman says they tried to throw a number of different strategies at her, but they did not all work.
The Hawks knew that if they were going to make a deep run, it would lead to a run-in with Bishop Garrigan. The Hawks were looking forward to this opportunity all season. Junior Claire Schroeder was especially looking forward to an opportunity to guard Crooks.
The Hawks got blindsided by a 10-0 run to start the game and then hit again with a 14-0 run to end the first quarter. Coach Willman says those runs came down to the Bears hitting their outside shots.
Part of the strategy offensively was to get Crooks out from under the basket by making her guard the perimeter. To do that, Claire Schroeder was going to have to hit some outside shots. The junior had attempted just nine threes all season and went 2-8 from the arch in this game. She says it was hard to adjust to a different task than what she is used to.
Even with the tough day from the outside, Coach Willman was proud of Schroeder’s effort. He says her confidence to keep shooting those shots was great to see.
The Golden Bears jumped out to that 24-4 lead at the end of one quarter and turned it into a 42-16 lead by halftime. The Hawks could not get things going for the comeback and ended their season one game short of the championship game. The loss is disappointing, but Whitney Jensen says they can focus on getting better and ready to do it again next year.
Schroeder says, to make history, is a feeling that dreams are made of.
The Hawks will lose just two players off this year’s roster. One of those is their only senior in Gracyn Schroeder. She was not a starter but was a vital spark off the bench for this year’s Hawk team. Coach Willman says her leadership will be missed.
The other player that will not be returning to the Hawks is Lotta Bamberger. She is a junior foreign-exchange student from Germany who wanted to play basketball in America despite having never played before. She even got a basket to end the game for the Hawks in the semifinals. Coach Willman says her energy and enthusiasm always lifted everyone’s spirits.
The Hawks will return their entire starting lineup for next year’s team. Coach Willman knows this team will use this loss to fuel strong seasons in all their other sports, and a strong basketball season next year.
The Hawk season ends at 24-2. Bishop Garrigan advances to their fourth straight title game with a record of 25-1.