Girls’ basketball triumphs over Cooper in Sections

Team effort leads to first round victory against cooper


Ayelet Prottas

Sophomore Evelyn Schmitz drives towards the basket March 2. Park won against Robinsdale Cooper 71-54.

Spectators stood up and cheered as the game ended with a 71-54 win for Park. Junior Shantell Harden said she was glad the team made it to Sections, since it was an excellent chance to compete against a difficult team.

“It’s a really great opportunity. I’m glad we were able to put it away tonight because it really is hard to beat a team three times. They always say (that) Cooper is a hard team,” Harden said. “They are going to work hard and push their limits. We finished the game well.” 

The March 2 matchup against Robbinsdale Cooper was a challenging game that required resilience according to head coach Arsenio Richardson.

“We played this team three times, so we knew it was going to be tough,” Richardson said. “We battled. We weathered the storm … The better team won today.”

Senior Selam Maher said the increase in spectators compared to past games helped the team stay motivated.

“Honestly, we haven’t had many fans this season. They’ve got energy, which really helped us in the long run,” Maher said. “(The fans) kept the energy flowing throughout the gym, and when we have fans, it’s always better.”

Through staying focused during the second half, Harden said the team finished the game off strong.

“We all put our emotions aside and decided to play for each other, and in the first half we weren’t doing that,” Harden said.

Richardson said the win was gratifying because it means the team gets to continue on with its season.

“It felt good. Playoff wins are hard to come by, no matter how good a team is,” Richardson said. “(I’m excited to) continue playing. Half the teams tonight will be done. We’re fortunate enough to have another guaranteed game.”

Ultimately, Maher said the team was able to win because of their teamwork

“As a team, we really were getting in the gaps and were trying to deny players, especially players that we knew we could stop and as a team we also did a good job communicating,” Maher said. “Overall, we came in as a unit at the end and were able to get out the win.”

According to Richardson, the team’s upcoming game will be a challenge, and its ability to motivate one another will help it compete against Wayzata.

“(Our team is) not as big as it’s been in the past, but we’re unselfish, and we’re playing for one another,” Richardson said. “Wayzata’s going to be more disciplined and can shoot better. They’re just a better team, so we have to be locked in defensively.”Park will take on Wayzata at 7 p.m. March 5 at Wayzata High School. For more information on upcoming games, visit