XENIA — Senior Night began and ended with happiness for the Xenia girls basketball team.
A 50-43 win against Greenville snapped a 10-game losing skid for the Lady Bucs, and the smile on Mya Dyamond’s face in the final seconds told the whole story of the joy a win on a special night can bring.
Dyamond is one of three seniors playing for Xenia this season along with Aly Vandergriff and Alayna Vela. Dyamond scored the first two points of the game on a breakaway in the opening seconds. It was a planned moment after tearing her ACL and meniscus earlier this year to cut short her career.
“I know Rachel from playing against her back in the day,” head coach Jessica Threats said. “She understood that we have a senior that wants to still be a part of everything. I thank her for being a great sportsman and allow us to have that moment and we wanted to reciprocate it by letting them have theirs.”
Xenia allowed Greenville to score two points back, which set the stage for a tight game to be played out.
The Lady Bucs led for the majority of the night, but the Green Wave never let the lead grow larger than five until the final seconds of the game.
Kendall Sherman, Xenia’s leading scorer, hurt her ankle in the second quarter and was in foul trouble most of the second half. Her fellow underclassman stepped up to help the seniors pick up a win on their night.
Alaiya Meaux had a career-high 16 points, Amarie Withers scored 11 and Bri Randall added eight, including four key free throws in the final minute to go with the game-sealing steal.
Joelyn Moore also buried two three-pointers to help keep Greenville at bay.
“Things can continue to be bad if you let it, but you need to keep working and persevere,
Threats said. “Obviously there’s been a number of factors that have not been on our side this season, but that’s not an excuse. No team you face is going to be like, ‘oh you’ve experienced some woes we will take it easy on you.’ It was a team win tonight and that’s what it’s going to take is everybody doing their part to try to get victories.”
While Vela and Vandergriff did not score, Threats said the game showed the leadership and intangibles the duo have brought with not much previous basketball experience.
“Ally had not played basketball since the eighth grade and Alayna has never played basketball,” she said. “They just wanted to be a part of things and I’m glad that we’ve been able to make it an enjoyable environment for them and that they’ve been here for the ups and downs. And then finally we were able to get them a great experience tonight.”
Threats also said Dyamond has continued to bring energy as a vocal leader herself despite her injury, and was happy to get a chance to get her on the court one more time in the final 10 seconds with the game decided to be able to see the smile on her face again.
The Lady Bucs have been playing a rugged schedule due to postponed games needing to be made up. Wednesday was the team’s eighth game in the last 14 days.
Its next game will be Saturday and represents the longest scheduled break the team has had in-between games since a four-day break from Jan. 8 through 12.
After earning some recent enjoyment from good play despite losses, Xenia hopes to duplicate its Senior Night happiness in the remainder of its games as well.
“It’s easy when the going gets tough to have to make a decision to either get tough or not, but we have a group of kids that are getting good looking forward and not looking backward,” Threats said. “Monday was the start of things for us against Tipp because Tipp is a good team. We were in the game with them even up to the last minute and continuing to encourage the kids to fight is going to allow us to move in the right direction.”