The comeback team: varisty girls basketball fights hard and finishes strong


Jenny Henegar locks in to shoot for two.

Katherine Carmack, Sports Reporter

Woodhaven varsity girls basketball made an outstanding year for the 2023 season, with a record 12-4. Leading and influencing the team in their last year were point guard Kamari Dabbs, shooting guard Ella Pappas, and post Eva Filippi.
The team built trust over the season, which helped them throughout the games. If they lost, they would come back even stronger the next time. Early in the season, the Warriors took a tough loss against rival Allen Park, losing by only three points, 63-60. They went on to face them one last time for the in the season closer, with help from sharpshooter Pappas whose many threes were key to toppling the Jags, 47-41.
Star player Kamari Dabbs states on the Allen Park games, “It felt good to win. We lost to them the first time and had to bounce back. I feel that we finally connected that game and played as a team. It felt amazing to win on my senior night.”
As much as these girls won, they also had some difficult games but tried their hardest to win. Take local rival and neighboring team, Trenton, for example. In their first matchup, the Warriors fell to the Trojans 56-37, but when they met the second time, the Warriors were much stronger, holding Trenton to a small margin and forcing them into double overtime. The Warriors ultimately lost 43-42, but they were a more unified team both offensively and defensively.
Junior Beth Henegar, who has a strong view on Trenton, says, “I really do not like Trenton, and playing against them definitely brings out some aggressiveness. The first time we played them we didn’t have Ella or Kamari, so when they were there the second time, we kept up a lot better. Also, the student section actually came to the second game which really shifted the energy and helped us keep closer.”
Throughout the season, the team met many obstacles, but no matter what, they turned the negative into a positive. They took a 38-45 loss in their first game against Carlson, but surprised the Marauders in their second meeting, crushing them 53-35.
Senior Ella Pappas recounts, “It felt amazing to win against Carlson and come back at the end of the game. As a team, we communicated with each other and worked as a team. We picked each other up when needed. We applied more pressure defense and worked the ball around better than the last time we versed them, which allowed us to take a higher lead. In the district game, I made a 3-point shot to take the lead with 30 seconds left and that gave our team the momentum we needed to finish the game with a win in our first district game against Carlson.”
As Districts came around, the team was ready. They made it to the first game against Carlson, who gave the team a hard time with back-to-back steals, shots, and rebounds. But with the team’s chemistry, hard work, and many skills, they again conquered the Marauders in an intense battle, 61-59. The game was exciting to watch and got fans on both sides at the edge of their seats.
The Warriors finally met their match in the next round when they fell to Bedford, 48-27. It was a tough fight at the end of a hard-fought season.