Back in Action: the Lady Pirates kick off the state tournament with a 63-48 victory

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Lauren Pappert

Senior Grace Banes drops 20 points against Baldwin in the first round of State. "It felt really good to come out in the first game of state my senior year shooting the ball well, but I couldn't do it without the team and their ability to give me open looks," Banes said.

Miles Lockridge, Staff Writer

The reigning substate champions are back in action at the state tournament in Salina, Kansas. The Lady Pirates kicked off their state championship run with a win against Baldwin, with a final score of 63-48. The Lady Pirates have been anticipating this moment all season long. 

“We were ready to go. I was focused and ready to get it done,” said senior Ali Vigil.

The Lady Pirates came out of the gate with a run of 19-3 to start the game. The team played a cohesive game, and everyone did their part. The girls feel that if they take advantage, they have a chance to end the season well. 

“This is a really good opportunity for the team. We have a chance to go all the way. We just have to have the right mindset,” said senior Grace Banes.

At the last state tournament, the Lady Pirates fell in the championship game to Bishop Miege. This year, the championship game will potentially hold the same two teams if both the Stags and the Pirates advance in their brackets. 

“I have friends at Miege, and I knew that they were watching so I wanted to make a statement,” Vigil said.

Miege has taken home the State Champion plaque five years over the past decade. However, the Pirates aren’t discouraged by their potential opponent. 

“I honestly don’t see it as a bad thing. They have beaten us in the state tournament the past two years, and I believe everyone on the team is ready to bring it to them,” Banes said.

Despite the game that potentially lies ahead, the Lady Pirates are taking this tournament one game at a time; all the while looking for improvement with every step of the way.

“I think we are playing pretty well as a team right now, but we still need to keep working on defense, continuing to have good possessions every time and get the best shot possible,” Banes said.

Even though the girls are making sure to focus on the game they are playing instead of looking ahead, the ultimate goal is still the championship.

“It’s not going to be an easy road to get there, but we’re ready,” senior Riley Porter said. 

The Lady Pirates plan to spend their day off regrouping,  mentally preparing and focusing on their next game. They will be back in action on Friday against Clay Center at 3:00 p.m. 

“We’re not done yet,” Vigil said.