The West Henderson women’s basketball team lost to the Enka High Jets on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at home. Finishing the first half with a score of 43-8, the Lady Falcons returned to the court and fought to end the game with a final score of 63-18. Despite the loss, the young team was carried by junior Gwyneth Bell. She stood out among her teammates, scoring seven points for the team.

“I feel like we could have worked better as a team throughout the game,” Bell said. “Communication is a huge part of the game so we definitely could have improved more on that. Personally, I should have slowed down to think more about my playing instead of doing everything so quickly, but I am still proud of my team.”

Having played for 10 years, many people say Bell has developed into a leader on and off the court. Bell is a member of the women’s varsity basketball team and plays as a shooting guard and point guard.

“I’ve definitely seen myself improve over the years,” Bell said. “I’ve found that I’ve gotten better after practicing with other players and continuing to play throughout the year.”

Bell’s leadership development has been evident this season for many players. Junior Sydney McLaughlin said she has noticed an increase in her own confidence and positive influence from Bell throughout her basketball career.

“Gwyneth is always making big plays. She’s one of our best players on the team.” McLaughlin said. “She’s really stepped up and filled the shoes of (former student) Jaia Wilson who was a great leader when she was here.”

Bell’s determination doesn’t stop when the season ends. Offseason workouts are essential, according to Bell, and consistent practice helps to perfect skills.

“When I’m not playing at school, I always try and work in some practice time to improve my game,” Bell said. “I practice a lot over the summer and I play travel basketball as well.”

Even with hours of practice, sometimes the most difficult part of the game is not the game itself, according to Bell.

“I think the hardest part is making sure that every player has their head in the game and making sure that we don’t let whatever else is going on in life affect our playing,” Bell said. “It can really affect the game when we let drama or frustration get in the way of our focus.”

Despite the difficulties that the game elicits, Bell said her desire to grow as a player is fueled by words of encouragement from coaches and teammates as well as self-motivation.

“It really boosts my confidence to have my teammates and coaches encouraging me on and off the court,” Bell said. “I think it helps everyone to play better when they have someone motivating them.”

In the future, Bell said she plans on continuing her basketball career in high school and hopes to earn a scholarship to play at the collegiate level.

The Lady Falcons (0-9, 0-4) will play their next game at North Henderson (3-8, 0-4) Friday, Jan. 4.

By: Lauren Mullis, Feature Writer

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