Hoops, They Did It Again

Girls’ Basketball Hosts Annual Fundraiser


Photo by Ally JohnPress

Defending the goal from her opponents, varsity team captain and senior Shelby Hayes moves her way down the court during varsity’s open practice. Hoopfest, a fundraiser held for girls’ basketball on Oct. 23, consisted of open practices, a free throw competition and barbecue plates. “It is honestly incredible how much money we raised from Hoopfest, and I would like to thank all the people in the community who donated and helped support our program,” Hayes said. “This would not have been possible without you.”

Ally JohnPress, Editor-in-Chief

Sprinting down the court, varsity girls’ basketball practices their motion offense, zone defense and shooting drills before Hoopfest. Held on Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hoopfest was a fundraising event to raise money for the girls’ basketball program expenses, such as training equipment, uniforms, player apparel and more. 

Created by varsity basketball coach Donny Ott, Hoopfest is an event where players shoot 100 free throws and parents and attendees can sponsor each shot, from 25 cents to $1, or make flat donations to the team. The team also served $20 homemade barbecue plates from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

“I think this fundraiser is super important because it allows for the community to come and be a part of the special culture we are building at Cedar Park,” varsity team captain and senior Shelby Hayes said. “It allows us to interact with people in our community and be able to make money to support our program.”

Each of the girls’ basketball teams had an open practice, with varsity’s from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., followed by the free throw competition and other games sponsored by the booster club, such as player versus parent shooting competitions.

“My favorite part is seeing everyone come together,” varsity point guard and junior Molly Ly said. “None of our practices are ever open, so people don’t really know the preparation we put into our craft. This is a great opportunity to meet the team and really get a day in the life at our open practice. It’s also nice to see everyone in the same place supporting us and know that we have a whole community rooting for us.”

In order to prepare for Hoopfest, players repeatedly shot sets of 10 and practiced shooting under high pressure. According to varsity forward and senior Elaine King, it is important to practice these high intensity shots.

“It prepares us to make those game-winning shots during close matches,” King said. “We have to remain focused and collected in the face of competition.”

Shooting a free throw, varsity forward and senior Angie Sacco practices for the free throw competition at Hoopfest. “It’s a fun way for us to make money for the season while shooting free throws,” Sacco said. “My favorite part of Hoopfest is the free throw contest with our parents.” Photo by Ally JohnPress

After winning the 5A State Championship last year, the varsity team is focused on improving reads within offense and defensive schemes. 

“The girls have been working real hard on improving their individual skill sets, and we are very pleased with the growth we’ve seen so far,” Ott said. “Obviously, the big picture is to get to State again. That being said, we are focusing on the here and now and taking one day at a time. Every day we try to get better by working on the small details and team camaraderie and commitment to one another. These values will hopefully help us make another State Championship run.”

With last year’s seniors having graduated, some junior varsity players have the opportunity to train with varsity, such as point guard and sophomore Ridgley Hernandez. 

“I’m super excited about any opportunity I can contribute to this championship program,” Hernandez said. “The current seniors have done a great job showing us the ropes and have set a great example and clear picture of the expectations. I believe being able to practice with varsity is making me better, and it is a true blessing developing relationships with the girls, which will lead to the overall team chemistry and success.”

The money raised for the fundraiser has surpassed previous years’ totals, with donations still rolling in. 

“It is honestly incredible how much money we raised from Hoopfest, and I would like to thank all the people in the community who donated and helped support our program,” Hayes said. “It means a lot to be a Lady Timberwolf because of how special our program is and how much we all love and support each other. I am so lucky to be a part of a spectacular program like Cedar Park girls’ basketball.”