Springfield International Charter girls’ basketball wins Division 5 championship
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A state championship trophy is coming home to Springfield after the Springfield International Charter School girls’ basketball team came out on top of the Division 5 state championships.
“It’s been a long season, but just being able to pull through and get that state championship and get that banner, it’s just amazing,” Junior forward Sara Pierce told us.
For the first time in program history, the Springfield International Charter School girls basketball team can call themselves state champions.
Following last year’s loss in the state semifinals, the Bulldogs defeated Millis 42-34 on Sunday afternoon in the MIAA Division 5 title game.
“These girls have really, really worked hard since the time we lost last year,” Bulldogs Head Coach Tyrone Reid said. “They’re really coming here and making a statement. The goal is to put our names on that banner that’s gonna be in this gym forever, and now, that’s gonna happen.”
Pierce told Western Mass News that offseason workouts and team bonding helped them excel from day one.
“Teams will struggle at the beginning of the season because half of them haven’t touched a court or a field, so that really helped us to get back into the groove of everything and make sure we were prepared,” she said.
Despite a relatively young roster, everyone stepped up.
“It’s just the maturity that really impressed me,” said junior Alicia Mitchell. “We didn’t get the calls that we maybe wanted or thought we deserved, but they didn’t have any outbursts or they didn’t lose focus.”
That includes freshman guard Lyanna Hodge, who finished with a team-high 15 points.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, but after the first couple minutes, I kind of got comfortable, like I was playing on a normal court, like I was playing here,” Hodge told us.
On Thursday, the Bulldogs will be honored at Springfield City Hall.
“It’s exciting to go to City Hall to go see the mayor,” Reid said. “It’s kind of like the way you sum it up, so the fact that we’re able to do that is also another awesome experience.”
Now, junior captains Pierce and Mitchell are already looking towards next season with eyes on a repeat championship.
“I don’t wanna get too far ahead of ourselves, want to enjoy the moment now, but definitely thinking about this next season,” Mitchell said.
Pope Francis’s boys’ hockey team was also crowned state champions on Sunday. Well have much more on their victory when the Cardinals are honored at school for their historic accomplishment.
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