Bitter-Sweet Ending For Miners Girls Basketball

Photo by Arely Tamayo

Cheryl Edenfield, Sports Writer

The season for the Sunrise Mountain girls basketball team has come to an end and it is very bitter-sweet for the Miners.

The Miners last game was on February 18, 2020, against the Pahrump Valley Trojans in the Class 4A Region Quarterfinals with Sunrise Mountain suffering a 57-31 defeat. Junior Aiyana Ramirez scored 11 points, and she was the only Miner in double figures.

As a whole, the Miners saw this season as a learning experience in hopes that they can pull off the first ever championship in Sunrise Mountain basketball history.

“I believe our season overall was a learning experience,” said junior Ay’reonn Oliphant. “By that I mean we had wins and losses. We learned as individuals what it takes to push ourselves to help our team. We had some tough competition, but even after our losses we were able to learn something and put that towards the next game. I believe it was a good season, and I know as a whole we all have one destination for next year and that is to win state.”

The Miners also have a bond outside of the basketball program that they will always appreciate and cherish. The seniors Ari’Yana Smith, Makayla Shelton, and Esmeralda Balbuena had great learning and personal experiences with the team.

“I felt like we had a great season despite not making it to state,” said Shelton. “What I liked most was how close we were and continue to be as a team and how everyone had each other’s backs on and off the court.”

“I learned that basketball is something that shouldn’t be so robotic because in reality you don’t know what another team is doing so you just play the sport you love and go with the flow of the game,” said Balbuena.

Making it to playoffs with a 15-9 overall record (8-4 in league) was a great accomplishment and the Miner’s season was full of ups and downs, but the players left for next year hope that they can take these lessons into the next season. If all of the juniors from this year continue to play, there will be seven seniors on the team next year.

“This season may be over but I already have big plans for next season,” said coach Bennett. “We will be participating in tournaments over the summer in order to stay ready for the upcoming season. We will definitely miss the three seniors from this season but we will start where we left off next year.”