A single tear streamed down the face of Van Horn High School guard Daisy Washington as she left the Falcons locker room Thursday night.
She was the lone bright spot in a 53-22 loss to Raytown, and didn’t know what to say or how to react.
So coach A.B. Lennox did most of the talking.
“Daisy isn’t the only girl crying in that locker room,” Lennox said after the Blue Jays blanked his team 16-0 in the first quarter and ran off to a 36-5 halftime lead. “That shows me these girls care.
“This shows me that they aren’t going to give up, even though we lost one of our best players (sophomore guard Lexi Robinson, to a leg injury) and a couple of other girls are no longer on the team.
“We were down – down by a lot – but our girls kept hustling and working hard and doing the things they learned in practice. This is going to be a tough season, we all know that, but the girls that stick around are going to be better for it and will be able to say that they were part of the foundation of this basketball team.”
After a quick visit to the training room, where she picked up a bag of ice from trainer Katie Beck, Washington tried to explain the emotions she was experiencing.
“We have to keep working together and not give up on each other,” said Washington, who scored a team-high 10 points. “We have to keep communicating out on the court and we have to keep working hard in games and at practice.
“I’m not going to give up my girls, this team means too much to me, and I hope they don’t give up on each other. I don’t think that will happen – we just have to find a way to keep getting better every day.”
The Falcons (2-5) had no first-quarter answer for a Blue Jays transition game that saw Skylar Holladay and Stevi Yancy score six points each, with most of their baskets coming on layups.
Kaylani Hoski, the Blue Jays’ 6-foot-2 sophomore center, then took control of the paint and scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the second quarter.
The Falcons did not score until the 6:43 mark of the second quarter when Briana Herrick connected on a short jump shot.
Raytown coach Elyseia Dunn took off the press and emptied her bench in the second half as the mercy-rule clock began at the start of the fourth quarter.
“Seasons like this – games like this – are not fun,” Lennox added, “but they build character. I saw a lot of character from my girls tonight and that can go a long way in building a team.”