By Skylah Martinez ’21
On Jan. 24, the Girls’ Varsity Basketball team faced Golder College Prep for the third time this season. “It was a really good game,” said new head coach and 12th grade science teacher, Caroline Schwartz, “even though we lost 37-29, the girls never gave up and stayed positive.”
Schwartz expressed that she felt really good about the game. This was the first time the girls played with her as head coach; still, former head coach Isaac Aguiniga came to the game and showed his support from the bleachers.
Three players from the JV Girls’ Basketball team were put on the varsity team to finish the season. Nathan Dengle took Schwartz’s former spot as assistant coach. Despite the sudden changes, the team pushed one another to finish the season.
Although Schwartz was standing side court coaching, some players were still looking into the audience for Aguiniga. He yelled out tips for the girls while they were on court – as he would when he coached. An observer from the Pritzker Press noticed that the team still wanted him to guide them as they played.
It was an intense game. The girls won their two previous games against Golder, so losing this one was quite devastating. Frustration was coming from the Pritzker fans; meanwhile, Golder was celebrating their first victory of this entire season.
The girls were close to taking the lead, but they needed former player Iyana Lopez, a junior, out there in order to pull through. Lopez and senior Keyla Romero were really the duo that dominated the court throughout this season. Romero expressed that it was very hard for her adjusting to not having Lopez on court with her.
Tiana Jackson, a junior, stated, “I think we played to the best of our ability seeing as though we lost our coach and a key player.” She also added that the team was not really prepared because they had not practiced in about 2 weeks. Jackson stated that she will try to “hold the team accountable” for the lack of motivation to play their best.
The girls faced Golder again for senior night. Aguiniga was asked not to attend the game, and the girls were dissatisfied that he would not be there. It especially meant a lot for him to be there for the seniors who were playing their final game.
Although they lost to Golder again, the team still celebrated. Schwartz gifted the seniors with heart touching presents, wishing them the best. She stated, “the girls gave their all to finishing out the season, and for that I am so proud.”
Despite Aguiniga not being physically present, the girls still carried his support with them to finish the season. He wishes the seniors nothing but the best after high school, and best of luck to the girls for next season.