A double 1000 point victory

The SHS Girls Varsity Basketball team


The SHS Girls Varsity Basketball team

Angeli Thompson, Editor in Chief

Being ranked No. 14 in the Ohio Division I, and ranked No. 19 in the state of Ohio, the Solon High School (SHS) Girls Varsity Basketball team has come far. They entered the Greater Cleveland Conference with a strong start, by winning nine total games and ending their season in their regional finals with a loss against Midview High School with a final score of 62-59. Two girls who have exceeded expectations are SHS senior Chyanne Hatcher and SHS junior Mackenzie Blackford.

Hatcher and Blackford have both recently made their 1000 points playing for the SHS Girls Varsity Basketball team. Even though they lost their last game and their season has come to a close, Blackford is still proud of her accomplishment, as she got her 1000 points in their regional semi-final game against McKinley.

Junior Mackenzie Blackford
Courtesy of Adam Niederst

“I was so happy,” Blackford said. “It was just a really good moment because everyone was there. It was a big game that it happened in too, so it was just really fun.”

Blackford expressed how proud she is of Hatcher also winning her 1000 points because she knows how hard Hatcher has worked to achieve that goal.

Being a part of the team, Hatcher explained her role and how her job is making sure everyone else on the team is included.

“Whether they start or they don’t get much playing time — when they get in the game I make sure they’re a part of [the team],” Hatcher said.

Other than keeping the team together, Hatcher explained how her strengths include shooting, defense and being able to attack the basket with aggression. According to Hatcher, in the past she didn’t always have an interest in basketball–she lacked motivation.

Senior Chyanne Hatcher
Courtesy of Adam Niederst

“Before I always complained [because] I didn’t want to do it,” Hatcher said. “But then I was like, if I want to be good and get somewhere I have to train everyday and actually put the work in.”

In the beginning of the year, Hatcher doubted herself to a point where she almost quit the team.

“I struggled in the beginning of the year, and I didn’t play for like five games, and I kind of quit the team,” Hatcher said. “So I didn’t think I was going to get my 1000th point, but my coach helped me by putting me in the game more and motivating me.”

SHS Girls Varsity Basketball coach Trish Kruse expressed how in order to help Hatcher become a better player, she continues to push her in the right direction.

“[We’ve been] continuing to work on basic skills, [as well as] being a good teammate and she’s done that,” Kruse said. “[She has] an elite skill set, she’s a gamer, it’s one of her strengths.”

Fellow player on the team, SHS senior Morgan Blackford, who is Mackenzie Blackford’s sister, said both Hatcher and Mackenzie share similar qualities.

“Chyanne has always been a phenomenal scorer, and same with Mackenzie,” Morgan Blackford said. “I mean they both got 1000 points which is great. I think they’re both selfless, and I think everyone on the team shares that quality, so it’s a good [environment].

Mackenzie Blackford said she’s grown throughout playing with her teammates, and has learned a lot.

“I think I’ve just grown with just being able to score easier and just learning how to fulfill my role on the team,” Mackenzie Blackford said. “We needed me to score this year.”

SHS senior Sydney Hazelwood, who also plays on the varsity basketball team, went on to explain that both Hatcher and Mackenzie Blackford bring leadership and resilience to the team.

“They’re one of the best leaders on the team, they’re always pushing everybody on the team to be better versions of themselves,” said Hazelwood. “They’ve made a big impact on why I love the team so much, why I love basketball so much. And by their perseverance and their resilience to overcome adversity.”