Alec Tebben | Echo
The Taylor women's basketball team secured the regular season title in the Crossroads League with a win over Grace College last Saturday, Feb. 16. The team shared the title with Marian University. However, Taylor won the tiebreaker according to conference rules and now owns the first seed for the Crossroads League Tournament. The team also earned a spot in the NAIA National Tournament.
"The team executed the game plan on both ends of the court," Head Coach Jody Martinez said. "Plus it helps when you hit 20 3-pointers."
The victory was the team's 17th straight win. It was also their 16th straight conference win, a new record for the program.
Martinez said unity and role playing have been key to the team's success this season.
"This team loves each other and their work ethic is why they were able to win 17 straight games," Martinez said.
Hard work and intensity have also been characteristic of the team this season. Senior Lacey Garrett said the team has picked up their defensive intensity, which has also fueled their offense.
Junior Becca Buchs said the players have individually put in work to better themselves, which helps the team grow as a whole. Each player's strengths contribute to make the team what it is.
Buchs also said that as the team drew closer to the end of the regular season, they focused on taking it one day and one opponent at a time. Garrett said this "one game at a time mentality" has helped the team succeed.
Garrett said the team is one of the hardest working she has ever been a part of.
"Every player pours their whole heart into every game," Garrett said. "I know as a senior…I could not ask for any better team to finish up my career with…we play together as more than teammates…we are sisters."
The team won their first game of the Crossroads League Tournament against Spring Arbor University on Tuesday. Martinez said the team will have their work cut out for them in the tournament, since other teams will be targeting them as the first seed.
However, they don't need to worry too much about the results of the tournament. The team has already qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. Now they can just focus on competing well and earning a good seed for nationals.