Hulne: LP girls have learned from losses

Published 9:33 pm Monday, March 16, 2015

Sometimes a loss is worth more than a win.

Just ask the Lyle-Pacelli girls basketball team.

Two years ago the Athletics rattled off an unbeaten season only to be knocked off in the second round of the Section 1A West tournament. This year, LP lost three regular season contests and now it will be playing in its first Class A state girls basketball team this Thursday.

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While no coach or player ever goes into a game hoping to lose, sometimes losses can help build champions. It is only in defeat that a team is forced to take a long look in the mirror and to see what improvements they must make so they never have to suffer a similar loss again.

LP’s first loss this season could probably be chalked up as a moral victory as it fell 90-89 to Maranatha Christian, which has the No. 1 seed in the Class A state tournament.

That game showed the Athletics that they can play with anyone in the state when they’re playing their best and it boosted their confidence.

However LP’s next two losses were far from moral victories, but they may have saved the Athletics’ season. LP lost to Goodhue and Southland in a span of a week and it began to play much better after those shortcomings.

Since then, LP has become a ball-sharing, hustling squad that plays as one unit at all times. On defense, the Athletics have become a swarming force with all five players moving at once and covering the entire court.

The Athletics probably thought they had reached their peak when they almost beat Maranatha earlier this season, but this team is peaking now and it comes at the right time for a squad that has gradually improved each season over the last six years.

The question the Athletics must ask themselves now is are they satisfied?

Getting to state is great accomplishment for any team, especially when it’s the first in state appearance in program history, but there is no guarantee LP gets back to state next year.

It would be in LP’s best interest to seize the moment and play all out at state. Win or lose, they’ll know they gave it their best.

And if the season does end on a loss, maybe that will serve as fuel for a relatively young roster to play even better next season.