Lady Timberwolves Basketball Makes History Once Again

Team Defeats Pflugerville, Wins Second District Title in Row


Megan Bonsall

The Lady Timberwolves celebrate at half court after the final buzzer. The T-Wolves finished 14-0 in district, marking their second outright district championship and solidifying themselves in school history. “There was a lot of hype behind that game,” senior forward Pujita Shukla said. “I think it was the perfect [home] game to end my career as a senior on. I am going to remember that game forever.”

Callie Copeland, Reporter

“Pflugerville- 1st, Cedar Park- 2nd.”

These words have been typed, written and taped all around the Lady Timberwolves’ locker room for weeks. In early September, the prediction of district standings was released, and sophomore guard Sarai Estupinan said that those predictions sparked the team’s determination to beat the Pflugerville Lady Panthers and win district for the second season in a row last Friday.

“That little piece of paper showed us that no one thought we were going to be on top this year,” Estupinan said. “I think it motivated us into thinking that we had nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

The district championship game was nothing short of expectations, junior guard Takara Holst said, and throughout the high-energy game, there were 10 charges called, over 50 free throws shot and 97 points scored between the two teams.

Holst said that even though the Lady Timberwolves were up by 20 points in the third quarter, they knew that they were nowhere close to being done. As the Lady Panthers tried to slowly chip away at the lead, Holst recalled one particular moment that, to her, signified a win for the team.

“The moment I knew we were going to win was when I saw Coach Ott walk down the bench and do his hilarious victory dance,” Holst said.

Knowing that the game would be an intense one, the team was already preparing for the matchup weeks in advance.

“Fortunately, we did not have a game earlier in the week which allowed us to focus more on Pflugerville,” Holst said. “In practice, we made sure to watch film from our previous game [against Pflugerville] to see what we could improve on, as well as putting in new plays to surprise our opponents.”

We proved that our championship last year wasn’t luck. We established a lasting legacy for Cedar Park.

— Junior Guard Hanna Wheeler

This was freshman post Shelby Hayes’s first time preparing to become a district championship contender, and she said that managing nerves before the game was the hardest aspect of preparation she faced.

“I was very nervous in practice and before the game,” Hayes said. “But one of the captains helped me calm my nerves with simple breathing exercises which really allowed me to focus in and relax.”

Nerves or not, Hayes had a total of six points, five rebounds and three charges. Hayes said that it was an amazing atmosphere to play in and that the team’s support helped her to succeed.

“No matter what, I knew my teammates had my back,” Hayes said. “I am thankful that my teammates and my coaches put trust in me to contribute to the game.”

Junior point guard Hanna Wheeler said the team wished to start a legacy for the Lady Timberwolves program ever since last year’s undefeated season, which resulted in 16-0 and the program’s first outright district championship. As the underdog in this big win, Wheeler said the team solidified themselves in Cedar Park history.

“It is no secret that a lot of people thought we were going to fall short this year to Pflugerville,” Wheeler said. “We used that as motivation to prove who Cedar Park girls basketball really is.”

Wheeler said that this championship was even more meaningful for both her and the team since it was the Lady Timberwolves’ second season in a row to go undefeated.

“We proved that our championship last year wasn’t luck,” Wheeler said. “We established a lasting legacy for Cedar Park.”

Senior forward, Pujita Shukla, said that the game against Pflugerville was one to remember, as it was her last game in the Timberdome.

“There was a lot of hype behind that game,” Shukla said. “I think it was the perfect [home] game to end my career as a senior on. I am going to remember that game forever.”

Shukla said that the high intensity of the game was similar to what the Lady Timberwolves will face in playoffs, making it a perfect game to get in the playoff mindset.

Nearing playoffs, Coach Ott said that he and his assistant coaches, Kami Williamson and J.R. Romero, are preparing by scouting all of the team’s potential matchups to ensure that they are adequately prepared. Ott also said that with their current players, he is confident that the Lady Timberwolves will continue to succeed.

“Realistically, for us, I feel like our team is built for a really strong run this year,” Ott said. “We have good senior leadership and experience from the regional tournament with last year’s team.”

The team will play Manor next Monday at 6:30 p.m. for the bi-district championships at Cedar Ridge High School. Updates on playoff games and locations can be found on the @CPLadyWolves twitter.