Girls Basketball Hopes to Repeat Past Success

With 8 state tournament bids in the past 12 years, the Ames High Girls Basketball team has been one of the state’s most consistent and dominant teams. In its landmark 40th year in existence, the Little Cyclones are back and hungrier than ever. Looking to build upon last year’s first round state tournament exit, everyone on the team has approached this year with dedication and fire. The players trained together extensively in the off-season, something they had never done before. “This has been the first year we’ve done lifting and conditioning as a team in the off-season,” said senior Shaya Kellogg. “We trained in the summer together and did workouts 3 times a week in the weeks leading up to the season.” “Over the summer, we did some camps and workouts together as a team, which I think helped us to get closer and work together a lot better,” said junior Jamie Steyer. Kellogg echos similar thoughts about the benefits of the team workouts. “The team has plenty of individual talent,” she said. “The challenge comes from learning to work together as team, with which off-season stuff has helped with a ton.” Despite losing 4 seniors, including team captain Cheyenne Pritchard, Head Coach Joel Sullivan thinks this year’s squad compares very favorably to last year’s. “ This is a very versatile team and we feel like we have a lot of kids who can do a lot of things well,” Coach Sullivan said. “We have 8 letter winners returning from last year, so we think it matches up well with last year’s team.” “We lost some really great players from last year, but the younger girls are eager to step up and fill those shoes,” said Steyer. “The team has so much potential and we’re just excited to see where we can go.” The girls’ first chance to witness the fruits of their effort comes at their first home game on Monday, November 19th. “We really hope to see a lot of people out at our games. We love the support we get from the school, especially in close games,” Steyer said. “We’re going to be a really fun team to watch; whether we’re pressing, running and jumping, or knocking down threes, you know we’ll always be giving our best effort.”