Varsity Girls Basketball Has High Hopes For The Upcoming Season


Mike McNally

Skai Bayless pulls up for a three-pointer during the basketball team’s first game, against Winters Mill.

Brynn Ohlhoff, Writer

The Oakdale Girls Varsity Basketball team is optimistic about the upcoming season. They are off to a good start this year, winning scrimmages against Damascus and Williamsport by over 20 points each. The Bears played Winters Mill in the first game of the season and won by 35 points.


The team’s roster is almost the exact same as last year’s, with four new players. The new line up includes Skai Bayless and Alexis Rowe, who were both out last year due to ACL injuries. Bayless and Rowe serve as the starting point guard and center, their return to the court will benefit the team.


Last season, Oakdale lost in the regional finals to Frederick and had an overall record of 12-12. They’re calling this season their revenge tour, with their goal being to win states.


Junior and team captain, Skai Bayless reveals, “I think our team will do better this year, because we are working better together as a team than last year.” 


Playing with a similar roster  for a second year will give the Bears  an advantage when it comes to team chemistry and collaboration.


Another advantage they have is their depth. Senior and captain, Mikayla Carey tells, “We have a really strong bench and are able to sub.” They can sub in five players and keep the same level of gameplay and intensity, which is impressive.


Their depth helps them play fast and push the ball up the floor, which is a main focus of their game. Since the team is talented and athletic, head coach Rob Healy plans to, “sub often, keep fresh players in the game, pressure defense and look to run on offense.”


Their strong bench is also helpful because everyone can push each other in practice. As Healy puts it, “Iron sharpens iron.”


As for what the team needs to work on, they have been tracking three stats: turnovers, free throws, and offensive rebounds. They believe if they succeed in these three categories they will win the game. They are also working on improving their free throw percentage, which was not as high as they would have liked it to be last year. 


Since covid restrictions have been raised from the past couple years, the team has been doing a lot more team bonding than in past years including: paintball over the summer, going to Tree Trekkers, having team dinners, etc. These help the team connect more which helps them work together better in games. 


Everyone is looking forward to seeing what this talented team can do this season. If their start is any indication of how the whole season will go, Girls Varsity Basketball has a lot of success ahead of them.