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Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

It's a brand new season—good luck, girls

Post season basketball is a season all its own, I was once told by a veteran coach. The record begins anew.

Holyoke’s Lady Dragon basketball team is proving that point this season as they enter the 2A state tournament with a 9-14 record.

They weren’t swayed when they posted a 6-12 regular-season win-loss record as they headed into district action the last week of February.

The record placed them in the bracket, but the determined teamsters took it from there. It was a new season.

Upsetting Wray in first-round action secured a regional berth. While they weren’t successful in the semis and finals at districts, the HHS girls knew they were still in the game.

It was a team driven with energy and determination that showed up at Standley Lake High School in Westminster both Friday and Saturday last week to pull off two upset wins to advance to the 2A State Tournament Championships.

It isn’t a fluke that this team with a mere 9-14 season record has made the final eight in 2A girls’ basketball. It’s a team that peaked at the right time and is playing ball like they’ve known they could all along.

Solid senior leadership has come to the forefront as the Lady Dragons look to take the court at Massari Arena at CSU-Pueblo this weekend.

Marci Vasa stops at nothing in her quest to lead the green and gold. She’s ferocious in her effort to pull off a win, and it’s fun to watch her maneuver the ball down the floor.

Mallory Bennett has overcome various injuries to keep herself in the game. She keeps the team pumped up and contributes heavily, even with a bum knee and foot.

Heather Duester was a stealing machine and made her shots count last Saturday as she rose to the occasion and made a name for herself in the Lady Dragon regional championship.

Kaylee Groshans isn’t intimidated by height, and she’s come on strong as a force for the Dragons this season. Her soaring confidence has impacted the team, as well.

Junior Laura Gerk is just plain fun to watch. She is a stats leader in one area or another in many Dragon games. She hits from the three-point range, and sinks lay-ups and free throws. She steals; she assists; she keeps her head in the game.

Junior Kris­Anna Ham and sophomore Erin Vieselmeyer show great promise for the Lady Dragon future as well as the current team. They perform with grace and style and see considerable time for the Dragons.

Patricia Adams made her time count in Friday’s ball game as she subbed in for some fine action to remember.

Whether it’s going in with confidence at key times or simply cheering teammates on, the rest of the Dragon varsity impact the whole team, as well.

Kudos to Becca Brandt, Marissa Chambers, Chandler Gerk and Maddie King. And hats off to the coaching staff, led by Arlan Scholl.

Holyoke is behind the Lady Dragons all the way. This is a trip to the state tournament that admittedly many of us didn’t anticipate. But it is thrilling to be able to make those reservations to follow and support girls who have started a new season on a winning note.

For those who can’t make the five-hour trek to the south, we’re fortunate to have such great radio coverage of the ball games to keep everyone in the loop.

Good luck, Lady Dragons, as you start your final season.