Fired Up Phoenix Clash Against Vikings

On Jan. 14, the Phoenix varsity girls basketball team fell to the Loudoun Valley Vikings with a final score of 14-59.


James Bowles

Focused and not backing down, sophomore Cora Bowen guards the Vikings alongside senior Alexa Veneros as the game comes to a close.

James Bowles, Bella Gerardi, and Kaleb Ryans

The Phoenix varsity girls basketball team played a tough game against the Loudoun Valley Vikings on Jan. 14, with a final score of 59-14. While the Phoenix didn’t exit victorious, the game wasn’t a blowout, with the Phoenix putting in their utmost effort up until the final buzzer. 

With one teammate injured and the Vikings a tough competitor, the Phoenix fought an uphill battle. However, in the face of a challenging game, the Phoenix continued to fight even when the gap between scores started to grow. Sophomore Cora Bowen, gave the game her all despite the circumstances. “We weren’t that confident going into the game because we were missing two of our [point guards] … but I think we were prepared for our [positions,]” Bowen said. “I was pretty upset, but at the same time I know we tried our best considering we didn’t have our two point guards. I [realized that] even without some of our best players, we could still do well.”

Junior Nadia Shanneb added that the team’s lack of motivation could be attributed to little practice and self doubt. “We only had one day to practice without our [point guards],” Shanneb said. “I was feeling nervous because I knew we would have to adjust; we’ve lost to the Vikings before, and that was with our two point guards. I definitely felt less motivated during the game, and I wasn’t used to playing with our replacement point guards.”

However, Shanneb recognized a few things about her mentality and gameplan as the game progressed. “I was feeling disappointed, but we ended the game a lot stronger than how we started,” Shanneb said. “We definitely should have [coordinated] with Cora a lot more in the beginning. When you put yourself in a spot where you don’t think you’re going to win, you’re just not going to win.”

The Vikings remained sportsmanlike during the game, despite their consistent lead. “They’re a very great team, but they’re also very nice,” Shanneb said. “A lot of teams can be rude, especially those that aren’t used to winning; but they were really kind and helped us up when we fell down.” In comparison to other teams they’ve faced, Bowen noted that the Vikings worked together very smoothly. “They have great chemistry as they’ve been playing together for a really long time–they’re district champions.”

Bowen and Shanneb took this loss as a learning opportunity, and hope that in future games, they can use this experience to improve upon themselves. Despite their loss, basketball coach Gordon Neal reflected on the work and future of the team for this season. “I personally never liked to lose; but as a team, we always look to the positive aspects of our gameplay and continue to work hard so that we can be successful,” Neal said. “We continue to look forward to the rest of the season with a positive outlook, knowing that our hard work will eventually pay off.”