Lady Mt’neers basketball season officially done

Skylan Akins

Senior, Harley Daniels goes up for a successfull 2 points in what would turn out to be her last game of the season against Clever. (picture submitted by MVHS)

The seven remaining players pose after a practice. In the front row: Taylor Gaddy, Cheyenne Bieber and Addie Hall. In the back row: Alyson Barnes, Audrey Bittle, Madison Rinker and Harley Daniels. (picture submitted)

Departures, injuries plague Mt. Vernon girls team
It has been a difficult 2022-23 season for the basketball Lady Mt’neers. Just two years ago, Mt. Vernon was boasting one of the best backcourts in the entire state and the season ended in the state title game.  This year, just two removed, is a far different story, as the Lady Mt’neers have only had seven girls on the roster for the majority of the season and after their most recent injury which brought the roster to only five players, Mt. Vernon athletic director Chris Johnston officially announced the remainder of the season was canceled.
The news came out last Friday via the school's official Facebook page. It read:
“After careful consideration by our administration and Board of Education, the extremely difficult decision has been made to cancel the remaining scheduled Girls Basketball games in the 2023 season including withdrawal from this year's District Tournament.
We couldn’t be prouder of these young ladies as they pushed themselves to the limit these past few games despite the depletion of players.
However, the MVSD administration feels that attempting to continue to play competitive varsity basketball with a reduced number of available players places our team in a very difficult situation. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we make this decision for the well-being of our student-athletes.”

After starting the season with 10 girls, and not having the players to field a junior varsity squad, the first blow to the season came just before Christmas when three girls quit the team due to personal issues. The next loss came just a few days later when sophomore Madison Rinker tore her ACL during a practice. The final blow came Jan. 12, when sophomore Cheyenne Bieber suffered a similar injury against Clever thus bringing forth this announcement from head coach Grant Berendt.
“Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances led to this decision. Everyone involved in the program is disappointed that it ended this way,” said Berendt.
The Lady Mt’neers ended the season with a 1-8 record for the year, but never let the adversity around the program affect their attitudes and their willingness to lay all that they had down for the green and white.
Unfortunately, there is one senior who won’t have the final season that most enjoy. Harley Daniels is a four-year member of the team who was seeing her first season in a starting role.
“This season didn’t go as well as planned, but we all worked so hard and learned many lessons," Daniels said. "We came into the season having lower numbers but were ready to compete. Throughout the season our numbers dropped again making some adversity for us, but we fought through it.”
Despite the harsh reality of her high school basketball season being over, she sees it as one of the most memorable seasons she has ever had.
“This was heartbreaking to hear as it meant I will never get to play again, but also all the hard work the rest of the team had put in all year could no longer be shown," Daniels said. "But for now, we are able to say that we did fight through adversity and gave it our best shot, and even though it doesn’t feel like we won we did. We won in knowing we worked so hard. We won in knowing we gave it our all. We won in knowing we stayed loyal to the team/sport. And most importantly we won in knowing we learned."

Daniels adds that she does see a silver lining.
"This season may not have been the best season, but it will be one I remember, not for how poorly it went but because of the fight," Daniels said. "I thank every single one of my basketball teammates past and present and both coaches for giving me another sport to love but now I have to say goodbye.”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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