Girls basketball aiming for another historic season


Giovanni Machado, Opinions Editor

The score is 49-49. After being behind for the entire game, Creek finally manages to tie the game with 23.5 seconds left on the clock. Senior Jana Van Gytenbeek gets the ball, stalls for ten seconds, and then passes it to junior KaCee Kyle, who holds the ball and gives it back to Van Gytenbeek with roughly ten seconds left on the clock. Van Gytenbeek dribbles into the paint and attempts a layup with only three and a half seconds left on the clock. She makes it.
That’s how the season ended on Mar. 9. That night went down in Creek history as possibly the most important night for Creek’s girls basketball: their first state championship title ever. And now, Van Gytenbeek, who recently signed to play for Stanford next year, looks forward to repeating last year’s groundbreaking performance.
“Last season was a great experience because we got a new coach and basically got to build from the ground up, not only focusing on defense and offense but creating a family as well,” Van Gytenbeek said. “That being said, I think we can repeat what we did last year but we have a long way to go and everyone needs to buy into the process again.”
Last year was the first year of the girls basketball program under Clint Evans’ coaching. After winning the state championship on his first year as Creek’s head coach, Evan longs for an equally good season.
“That championship game was probably the best atmosphere I’ve been a part of as a coach,” Evans said. “Those are the games that the girls remember, so I just hope to get in a situation where they get to make more memories.”
After setting the bar so high, the expectations for the season are clear: to win state. Again.
“We want to get back to state and we want to win a state championship,” senior Cali Clark said. “We need to have that mindset to get there, but we all know that we need to put in work and there’s a lot to work to be done.”
Clark believes that after last year’s remarkable performance, other Colorado teams will have a different approach towards Creek.
“There’s definitely a bigger target on our backs now,” Clark said. “There was already one, us being Creek. But now that we’re state champions, people are not going to want us to win two in a row or three in a row.”
Even though most of the players already got to the top, no one thinks they should settle down or that the work is done.
“We have big shoes to fill, and we are excited about this season,” Van Gytenbeek said. “I’m glad we got it done last year, but getting it done this year would make it so much sweeter.”
Evans has the advantage of working with pretty much the same team he worked with last year since only two of his players graduated in 2019. This will be an advantage considering the complexity of Evans’ set plays.
“The girls know my expectations you know, we run a lot of sets. And so they already have a background,” Evans said. “Now it’s just natural. They just go and do it, so that will allow us to work on other things and allow us to get better individually because we probably don’t have to spend as much team time on stuff.”
Evans acknowledges that the team he has on his hands is not a team you see every day and hopes that people come and support the team this year.
“This is the best team I’ve ever had,” Evans said. “I think it’s worth coming out and watching it.”