Freedom girls fall to Parkland
For the first time in seven seasons, Freedom’s girls’ basketball team qualified for district playoffs, and despite its 65-54 loss to Parkland last Thursday night, the Patriots’ season had success written all over it.
“It’s a process,” said Coach Dean Reiman. “You don’t go from doormat to league champ in a year, but we have kids coming back, and we’ll work harder to hopefully win the district.”
Walking out of the locker room after halftime, the Patriots were full of hope, trailing 30-28, and fans were on their feet in full support.
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, however, Freedom committed four fouls, and the Trojans had extended their lead 37-28.
“The fouls set the tone, and either we couldn’t score in the third quarter, or some calls didn’t go our way,” Reiman said.
Meckenzie Herman, Elana Pheiffer, and Hailey Silfies combined for six straight Patriot points, but fouls continued, and Parkland’s Emily Piston scored at the buzzer for a 49-40 Trojan lead to begin the fourth.
The final eight minutes followed the same pattern of Patriot fouls, but on a bright note, Rachel Sanchez came off the bench and hit a three for Freedom to end the game.
“They’re disappointed and sad,” said Reiman after meeting with his team. “They care for each other, and I told them I am proud of them and how much I love them. This will always be a special group for me because there was no tradition or track record established, so they were going on blind faith. It was all dedication with hope.”
Silfies led the Patriots in scoring with 15 points, and Kaitlyn Swint had seven. Sanchez and Jennifer Kokolus scored six points apiece. Herman had five points. Pheiffer, Kyra Jefferson, and Carissa Norder added four points each, and Yasmine Herrera had three.
Freedom ended its season with a record of 14-10.