Princeton Times

Sports

February 15, 2013

Tigerettes win big on Senior Night

PRINCETON — “Senior Night" was the theme Monday night at Princeton Senior High School, as the Tigerettes took on the visiting Oak Hill Red Devils and easily won by score of 92-15. Oak Hill has lost 20 straight games this season and claimed no wins.  

The second half focused on ball control, as Princeton exercised 20 touches before shooting. Princeton utilized 10 players, including one freshman and two sophomores. All 10 players contributed to the win, with junior Ashley Culicerto obtaining a double-double by scoring 14 points and 10 assists.

Senior Maranda Wimmer was the leading scorer, with 21 points, followed by senior McKenzie Akers with 16. The nine senior Tigerettes took center court at half-time in a mesmerizing gymnasium with royal blue and silver balloons lining the top row and delicate flower bouquets in hand as family, friends, teachers and youth pastors smiled with pride and tears in their eyes.

Nine young ladies celebrated together, each one with a lasting memory and legacy. Within this group of young ladies are honor students, FCA members, homecoming queen and court, Student Council representatives, Key Club members, Madrigal singers, cross country runners, track athletes, soccer players, MCTEC nursing students and youth leaders at their respective churches. The list could go on.

These young ladies have proven they understand that life is more than basketball: It’s knowledge, community, faith and friendship.

Monday was special in it’s own right, but each girl gave an insight to her basketball endeavors.

“You can’t define the 9,” a phrase spoken by senior Hannah Preservati in summing up her teammates, was forever imprinted on a sweatshirt this night for her and her senior teammates.

Senior Maranda Wimmer had the breakout game of her four years as a Tigerette with 21 points.

An amazing accomplishment on Senior Night.

“I am so happy to get to play with my team on my home court, possibly one last time,” she said.

Senior McKenzie Akers is no stranger to the spotlight as she surpassed the 1,000-point mark her junior year and became the all-time points leader for PSHS her senior year. Her hard work and dream of signing with a Division I school came to a reality prior to basketball season, as she signed with the Marshall Thundering Herd.

“God has blessed me with a loving family, coaches who expect nothing but my best, caring teammates that I consider family and supportive fans,” Akers said.

Hers was a message that also resonated with senior Khadija Payne, who said, “You all are my second family, mostly like my sisters. I really don’t know what I would do without you guys. I will miss you all so much, and I love you team!”  

Seniors Jessica Inman and Marissa Mullins wanted the underclassmen “to cherish the years you have been given to play.”

Senior Rachel Surface said, “I have made some of the best memories of my life playing basketball. They will never be forgotten.”

And, senior Stephanie Lambert stated, “My team means everything to me. We go through thick and thin together. They are more than my teammates. They are my best friends on and off the court.”

Head coach Debbie Ball, speaking of the seniors said, “Parents, you should be very proud of these girls. They are great kids.”

Senior Amanda Cook published the following note about her teammates.

“Tonight, being Senior Night, put things into perspective for me. I realized that this group of girls and I have been playing, with or against, each other since we were 5 years old. We were with each other every step of the way: from playing our first games at Red League, mastering the art of a left-handed lay-up in middle school, to a run at the State Tournament this year. We have shared laughs and smiles and even the occasional silly fights; but at the end of the day, each of these girls claims the title of dear friend. Each of us share a different story, and each of us will go our separate ways after this year. It is what we have learned from playing basketball and from each other that has prepared us for the next steps we will take. One year ago, I had to step a way from basketball, and I soon became just a runner. But when I am with these girls, I am forever a basketball player. I love you all and remember, the season is only just beginning!"

The Tigerettes are back in action next Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the armory in Fayetteville for the first round sectional play. Game times have not yet been announced.

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