The Salem Lady Greyhounds finished their offseason play on Sunday, March 7 as runners up in the State 2A-2 Semi Finals. While they fell short of bringing home the championship, the girl’s have played their hearts out all year and the coaches, school and entire community were behind them. Below is a quote from the girl’s coach Josh Bateman. Bateman offered praise for their stellar performances and athleticism all year long.

It’s taken some time to get my thoughts together after our season came to an end last night in the 2A Final Four. This season started with a lot of expectation. Returning 6 of our top 7 players from our state finals team last season, we had set goals to win tournaments and ultimately get back to Hot Springs. Unfortunately, this group only got to play with our full team for 7 games this season. Our season of expectation turned into a season of sadness and adversity with season ending injuries to three of our four seniors. We lost Cassidy to injury in early to mid-December; we lost Jaycie to injury in early January; and we lost Sarah in early February. Obviously, we missed their performance on the floor, but we missed their presence. I preach toughness to my girls, but the reality is we all struggled when each girl went out (Ashley had to remind me to “be tough!”) In my nine years as a head coach, I’ve never had a player go out with a season ending injury. It is heartbreaking for the player and family, and felt throughout the team. Despite the heartbreak, injury, and adversity, each member of the team was able to grow and persevere . The injured seniors were able to be present with their leadership and support, and the rest of the girls rose to the challenge of growing and maturing into who they needed to be. To say I’m proud is anunderstatement! I’m proud of the girls stepping up, and those seniors continuing to be there for their team even though they didn’t get to be on the floor! This group finished 22-9 Izard County Tournament Runner-Up 2A-2 Co-Conference Runner-Up, 2A State Semi-Finalist. I want to say “Thank you!” to my four seniors: Jaycie, Cassidy, Sarah and Yuki. You have put so much into the basketball program the last two years. Every program practices and works to make their kids better, what sets programs apart is what the kids put into it, and you four came to put in the work everyday. I never once had to coach your effort! I hope you are as proud as I am of your accomplishments as Salem Lady Greyhounds! You have set the bar really high, and you have inspired and excited future Lady Greyhounds. When the younger girls had to step up, they were able to because they had good leaders in you. Y’all deserved a better ending with all four of you in uniform. Thank you to the parents, the teachers, the administration, and the community for supporting the Salem Lady Greyhounds.”

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