A chase ending with the greatest win: Lady Spartans are basketball state champions


Leila Assadi

Pleasant Valley Girls Basketball celebrate the first ever basketball championship in school history following an amazing season that will be remembered for years to come.

Caroline Corcoran, Multimedia Manager

And with 26th season wins, the Pleasant Valley Spartans are the 2023 Basketball State Champions!

On March 3, the Pleasant Valley girls basketball team (PVGBB) ended their season winning the first ever girls basketball state championship in school history. Beating the defending state champions the Johnston Dragons 59 to 56, the Lady Spartans ended their season on top earning many amazing accomplishments along the way. 

Starting the season off in December, the Spartans went undefeated all year. Blood, sweat, and tears were put into practices as the team continued to “chase the win,” as head coach Jennifer Goetz would say, and push themselves to victory.

The Lady Spartans put in hours of hard work into this sport, helping them to end their season as state champions. Senior Halle Vice, who plans to continue her basketball career at Marquette University in the fall, has appreciated all she has experienced with her team this season. “Everyone has stayed motivated and has high energy. We are always excited to be together and work hard to reach our goals,” Vice said. 

Keeping their goals at the forefront of their minds as the season went on, their consistent efforts and dedication paid off as the Spartans won the regionals, won MAC, junior Jessie Clemons set a new steals record for PV, and Vice set a new career points school record before retiring her jersey. Additionally, Vice and Clemons were elected to the all-tournament team and Vice was awarded all-tournament team captain. 

The positive energy surrounding practices is what Vice believes helped their team be successful and continue pushing one another to be better. “ We work hard in practice but also have fun while we’re being productive. We enjoy friendly competition because it pushes us to work harder.”

As the team continues to work hard, they continuously inspire one another to work harder for themselves and for each other. 

Senior basketball player Rachel Vonderhaar has been a part of PVGBB for all four years of high school. Working hard and connecting with her team inside and outside of practice, she knew this season was going to be one of the best. “This team has had a really positive dynamic,” Vonderhaar said. “We stay together as not only a team but as a family.”

Vonderhaar believes that the team had a different, more special bond this year than prior years, allowing them to get close to one another and efficiently work together as a team. Such strong friendships within their team allowed them to constantly feed off of each other’s energy and be encouraging teammates  who pushed each other to success.

With only three graduating seniors, the Spartans will be left with a young team who know how to work hard and stay motivated to keep chasing their goals. These state champs have made program history and have the potential to continue to make their mark both school wide and state wide in the near future.