Charlotte’s season came to an end on Thursday, Feb. 11, in the bi-district round of playoffs.
The Trojanettes lost 91-31 against the Harper Lady Horns.
“Monday’s film session was the starting point to a potential program-changing opportunity. Hearing the girls bond together to attack the weaknesses for Thursday’s game was rewarding as a coach,” said Head Coach Nick Lopez. “The basketball IQ they have gained this season is like no other. I think once we left that film session we knew what we had to do to win. Until it all came crashing down.”
The Monday before playoffs the Trojanettes had a huge COVID scare. That meant the Trojanettes would’ve been out of the playoffs.
“Once I got the call and we had to shut down, I knew I had to try my best to get us back to focus. It was the biggest challenge I had faced all season as a head coach. How do you go from telling the girls your season is over to let’s get back to work for Thursday in less than two hours. Adversity hit and it was hard to get out of the hole mentally. The girls played great and fought hard till the end but unfortunately it just wasn’t our time to continue our journey.”
The Trojanettes saw a completely different Harper team than the one they saw on film prior to Thursday.
“During the game, it was tough,” senior Mia Campos said. “Watching film and seeing what they did during the game was completely different. I was expecting for us to be going back and forth and it coming down to who made the most mistakes in the game.”
Campos led the team with a total of 13 points. Ariel Ramon was the second-highest scorer for Charlotte with nine points.
“I definitely didn’t think the game was going to end up like that,” Ramon said. “I expected us to win and had high hopes. We should’ve changed some of the things we did. We didn’t communicate and it really hurt us in the end.”
The Trojanettes are set to lose three seniors from this year’s team. They will lose Jessalyn Sanchez, Jasmin Santos and Ariella Cumpian. Despite those departures, expectations couldn’t be higher for Charlotte.
“I expect next season to be great,” Ramon said. “We’re losing three seniors this year, but those eighth graders have some talent. We’re expecting a lot from them and we’ll help them get to where they need to be. Next year should be very successful.”
Sanchez didn’t get to play her last senior basketball game. She sustained a head injury during their meeting with Sabinal in district play.
“It broke my heart not being able to play my last game of basketball ever,” said Sanchez.
Her presence on the court was sorely missed in Thursday’s loss.
“Losing a starter whose vocal is tough. Having three dominant shooters and passers on the top in formation is the key for open shots and strong ball movement,” said Lopez. “Losing a starter allowed the defense to favor the strong side and it got the best of us. I told my girls once this happened it was ‘the next man up.’ Who’s willing to step up and fill those shoes and contribute a little more than usual to the offense. The girls rose to the occasion but it just wasn’t enough to get the win.”
The three seniors each had something to say to their teammates. “Enjoy the ride while you have it, trust me it goes by so fast. I can’t wait to see what y’all have to bring to the table next year,” Sanchez said.
Jasmin Santos added, “It was a pleasure being able to play on the court with y’all. Many memories were created that will last a lifetime. Although I won’t be there next year, continue to play y’all’s hearts out. I love each one of y’all.”
Ariella Cumpian concluded, “We’ve always challenged each other and have had a lot of fun while doing so. I will miss each and every single one of you guys. It was fun getting this last season with each other. I hope y’all continue to work hard and strive for success no matter the outcome.”
The Trojanettes finished the season 13-4.