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Women’s basketball continues winning ways

Kaitlyn+Norton+%E2%80%9917+in+action+last+week+in+Grinnell%E2%80%99s+62-61+victory+over+Lake+Forest+College.+%0APhoto+by+Rae+Kuhlman
Kaitlyn Norton ’17 in action last week in Grinnell’s 62-61 victory over Lake Forest College. Photo by Rae Kuhlman

Gabe Lehman

lehmanga@grinnell.edu

Kaitlyn Norton ’17 in action last week in Grinnell’s 62-61 victory over Lake Forest College.  Photo by Rae Kuhlman
Kaitlyn Norton ’17 in action last week in Grinnell’s 62-61 victory over Lake Forest College.
Photo by Rae Kuhlman

The women’s basketball team triumphed in a thriller last Saturday, beating Lake Forest College by the slimmest of possible margins, edging the Foresters by a final score of 62-61. The two teams were incredibly well matched, but a free throw by Anne Boldt ’16 with nine seconds left on the clock sealed the win for Grinnell.

Sophia Gatton ’17, who led the Pioneers with 18 points, and Lydia Stariha ’17, who added 10 points, believe that struggles in the past paved the way for last weekend’s gritty performance.

“We’ve learned how to finish games, but that has come from a lot of failure in the past, so it is really nice to see it all coming together,” Gatton said.

The win proves to be another milestone in an already historic season for the Pioneers. Grinnell is now 12-5 in the Midwest Conference, which is the highest mark for the women’s basketball program in its history.

Head coach Dana Harrold was particularly proud of the record, as it represents the exceptional effort these Grinnell women have put forth.

“Setting this record for the most Conference wins means a lot to us and it’s a product of the hard work and focus this special group has put in,” Harrold wrote in an email to The S&B. “It was definitely a big milestone for the group of players we have because a lot of us have been together for the past two to three years, and it’s just really nice because it shows how we have evolved as a program. It is nice to have those tangible things to say, ‘Look how far we’ve come.’”

All this success has not satisfied the Pioneers, however, as they continue to look forward toward even more impressive goals. Grinnell has already clinched a spot in the Midwest Conference Championship tournament and the Pioneers want to ride as much momentum into that tournament as they can.

“We want more. We want to win out in our last two games so we can finish strong heading into the MWC tourney,” Harrold wrote. “We want to make sure we are focused and prepared to win a tournament game and get to that championship game.”

No matter how successfully the women finish their season, it will be the final season of the class of 2016’s college career. Despite only having three senior members on the team, Boldt, Alyssa Hirsh ’16and Jordan Matosky ’16, the senior class’s influence has been vast.

“The class of 2016 has honestly been the heart and soul of women’s basketball,” Gatton said.

Fans who want to see the class of 2016 play one more time will get their chance this Saturday, Feb. 20, when the Pioneers host Illinois College for Senior Day. Tip off is at 3 p.m.

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