This is it. The end of the Catholic League games for Mercy Varsity Basketball (MVB), and the last home game for the team’s seniors is here. As this year’s senior players, Zora Pullen, Lauryn Hauncher, Katie Bryce, Jordyn Schluter, Marisa Hardenbergh, and senior manager Bianca Berger have endured daily practice, games twice a week, and training since late November. All of their hard work is contributing to their common goal of winning Catholic Leagues and then continuing on to be the state champs.
According to Hauncher, a senior team captain, a huge part of the basketball experience is the energy given off by the crowd that feeds MVB’s players and drives them to victory.
“I love seeing Mercy students in the crowd,” stated Hauncher. “Even though parents make up most of the crowd, the vibrant student sections are what really makes games exciting and creates an energetic atmosphere.”
Playing on junior varsity for her first two years at Mercy and continuing on to varsity for her last two years, Hauncher has gained a lot of experience on the court as an MVB player. In addition to gaining valuable experiences, Hauncher is also creating strong bonds and lasting friendships with her teammates that she can carry with her throughout life. From weekly games to teammate bonding, her time on MVB has positively affected her years at Mercy.
“My basketball team freshman year was really my first group of friends at Mercy,” stated Hauncher. “It helped me make the transition a lot easier and helped me feel comfortable going to a new school.”
There are a lot of memories that have been created and cherished by each team member over the years. As her final year on MVB comes to a close, Hauncher reminisces about some of her favorite memories.
“Our team this year has a lot of inside jokes,” stated Hauncher. “But my best memories of Mercy basketball all around would be our pre-game pump-ups in the locker room before a big game.”
Hauncher cherishes the memories of MVB that will last forever as she prepares for her final game against Robichaud on Feb. 10. With the memories and climaxes of each season come a certain sensation that Hauncher feels nothing could ever replace: the elation of a long-awaited win.
“I will never forget when our team finally beat Marian at home after losing to them every game last season,” stated Hauncher. “Marian had been a back-to-back state championship team, so we knew it was finally our year to take first in the central division instead of Marian.”
Despite the daily practices, multiple games a week, and tiring training sessions, MVB positively impacts its members in ways which cannot be duplicated. MVB is more than just a basketball team; it has become a family that will always last, according to Hauncher.
“I definitely will remember everyone on my various teams the past four years who have positively influenced my life,” stated Hauncher. “Really, I’m with my team just as much as my family during basketball season, between school and practice, so the bond between my teammates and I sets a standard for what I want my future friendships to be life.”
Though she’s not planning on playing for a college team, Hauncher would like to continue her basketball career with a club or intramural league. High school may only last four years, but the memories, experiences, and bonds that have been created and cherished by everyone on MVB will last forever.