“We expected a lot out of these girls, and they came through.”
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The Staunton High School girls’ basketball program was rudely welcomed to its first sectional game by Camp Point Central Feb. 21.
The Bulldogs came in as a higher seed, but the Panthers weren’t concerned about that by any means and got right down to business in picking apart an inexperienced SHS core.
Camp Point Central opened the contest on an 18-0 run and dominated Staunton, 62-26.
“They were better than us, no doubt about it,” fourth-year Staunton head coach Corrie Allan said out of respect to CPC. “It was a learning experience and a goal for what we want to accomplish. They were disciplined, great shooters and ran their offense effectively. We knew that going in, but just could not get in a rhythm.”
Though the inaugural trip resulted in a dark hour, Allan was very optimistic for the future and for legitimate reason. This year’s bunch of Bulldogs consisted of four sophomores in the starting lineup, yet still put together the most successful season in SHS history. The 2022-23 squad broke the all-time school record in total victories for a single campaign, brought home back-to-back county titles and contended for a third consecutive conference crown before hoisting the program’s first ever regional plaque.
“I am excited about the summer and getting the opportunity to work with these girls again,” said Allan. “We have improvements that need to be made and I am ready to help them however I can. I love the program we are building and I hope the girls do too. We have great youth coaches and Coach Peterson does an amazing job. It is just a fun group to be around and I look forward to next season.”
In defeat, Staunton bid farewell to its lone senior and captain, Haris Legendre. In addition to all of the success she has helped the basketball team achieve, Legendre is leaving behind a legacy of being one of the greatest SHS volleyball athletes ever. Last fall, she became the first Bulldog to surpass 1,000 career kills and led Staunton to its fifth straight county crown. SHS also reached sectionals in 2021 and won the South Central Conference two years in a row during Legendre’s tenure behind the net.
“She will be missed more than she will ever know,” said Allan, who is also the SHS athletic director. “She has always walked into practice with a smile on her face and ready to work every single day.
Allan also credited Legendre’s spirit as a teammate, both in huddles and off the court.
“She never lets the little things get to her and has the kindest heart I have ever met,” Allan said. “She can make anyone laugh and gives some great pep talks. I know she will do great things in college.”
In total, Staunton won 26 of 33 games this season and went 7-2 in the SCC. Prior to sectionals, the Bulldogs had won 11 straight plus 14 of their last 16 leading up to their historic regional championship victory.
“I am so proud of the girls and all of the hard work that they put in this year,” Allan said. We expected a lot out of them and they came through.”