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Hot Streaks and Breakouts: A Midseason Recap of the 2024 Girls Basketball Firebirds

On Sunday, November 26th, 2024, the Girls Basketball Firebirds kicked off a season that had much promise amongst Firebird fans.
Hot Streaks and Breakouts: A Midseason Recap of the 2024 Girls Basketball Firebirds

Entering the 2023-2024 season, the Firebirds were coming off of a building year where the team saw the breakout of key freshman talents: Katie Fox, Caroline Bayliff, Sydney Williams, and Jayda Neilson. While the team would end up making a first-round exit in the playoffs against the Milford Eagles, the season was still, for the most part, viewed as a success due to the team’s growth.

So far this year, the Firebirds are sitting with a record of 13-4, with eight conference wins and three conference losses. Although the season didn’t start too hot, with a 2-2 record that included GMC losses to East and Mason, the girls would then go on a highly successful run to bring them to where they are today. They would go on to win 11 of their next 13 due to many of the key freshman, as well as senior forward Lily Johnson.

After averaging 7.2 PPG last season, Johnson is currently second on the team in PPG with 11.9. Her top performance of the season was the inaugural game of the Firebird’s impressive run, as she put up 21 points, 3 assists, and 7 rebounds against Fairfield. On this last 13-game stretch, she has been producing 12.5 points per game alongside key freshman.

Caroline Bayliff has shown an improvement in consistency with her numbers this season, putting up 10.4 PPG. She had similar numbers last season, but she has shown improved confidence and has had more big games than last season.

Jayda Neilson has yet again proven to be a highly valuable asset to the team, especially on the defensive side of the floor. Neilson, on top of her 6.3 PPG, is great at rebounding the basketball, with 5.6 total rebounds averaged per game. Her stats don’t fully show her value to the team, however, as she also carries a large energy factor with her into every game.

Katie Fox got off to the season in a rough way, especially from behind the arc. However, over the hot stretch, she has righted her ship and is back to leading the Firebirds in PPG with 14.1. She also leads in rebounds with 6 per game. After concerns about her consistency and shooting, she seems to have proven doubters wrong and has taken back to her first team all GMC play style.

Lakota West basketball analyst, Noah Bramble, sees lots of potential in where this team could be headed.

Regarding the final stretch of the season, Bramble remarked, “Lakota West will have a chance to show all of the GMC, and Ohio, if they could make a run at regional finals and state.”

This Firebird team is a fun one to watch, and you won’t want to miss the final stretch of the season as they sit two games out of first place in the GMC. Their next game is slated to be on the road, taking on Hamilton Wednesday, January 31st. You can also find select games on Lakota West Student Broadcasting on YouTube.

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About the Writer
Nick Johnson
Nick Johnson, Editor-in-Chief
Nick Johnson is a third-year journalism student in his senior year. Nick is very involved around the school, as a peer counseling lead team member and doing PA announcing for the baseball team in the spring. He is also a leader of the Lakota West Student Broadcasting Club. Nick enjoys writing about sports, specifically football, as he is a huge NFL fan. Specifically, he is a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions. He also does writing for other sports, and you can read all of his articles and more here on the West Press.

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