After a buzzer-beating win in OT on Monday night, the Mountaineers downed Novi Christian on Wednesday, March 13 59-39 to win its D4 Regional Championship. Novi Christian picked up a quick lead, leaving the Mountaineers trailing at the end of the first quarter. But just over a minute into the second quarter, Annelise James scored giving the Mountaineers a 13-12 lead, and they never looked back. It has been five years since Everest Collegiate Girls’ Basketball won its first D4 Regional Championship in 2014. This year marks the tenth year of the high school’s existence which opened its doors in 2008, adding a high school to Everest’s existing preschool through eighth grade programs. Mary Jo Allen, EC Class of ’14, was a senior when the team had its first appearance as part of the Elite 8. Mary Jo has since returned to the team helping as an assistant coach.
Mary Jo’s younger sister senior Katelyn Allen has often led the team in points throughout the season. Wednesday was no different as Allen had 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 blocks. But the Allen sisters aren’t the only sister pair contributing to the Mountaineer’s success. Following Allen, the James sisters brought in their fair share of points. It had been junior Annelise James who scored the final layup on Monday night – her only points for the game – to clinch the win for the Mountaineers, but on Wednesday she came back with 12 points and 7 rebounds. The younger James sister, Celeste, arguably the Mountaineers best ball handler had 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Celeste’s performance often led the ever-enthusiastic Mountaineer student section to erupt into chanting, “She’s a freshman.” Yet another sister pair – not twins, but 2 of 3 triplets – are seniors Grace and Serra Lowney. The girls have played both volleyball and basketball together since grade school and can both sink a three and make it look effortless all at the same time. Last but not least, the Beauchamp sisters have occupied two more spots on the Mountaineer bench. With repeat ACL injuries, senior Kendall Beauchamp hasn’t seen much playing time but has cheered on her team throughout the season. Head coach Erin Van Wagoner subbed her in during the last minute of play, giving Kendall some court time on their journey to the regional title. Little sister freshman Audrey Beauchamp has also proven her potential moving up from JV to join the varsity squad.
The sisterhood of the Mountaineers extends beyond blood ties though. Van Wagoner has commented more than once that what has contributed to this team’s success is their ability for each member of the team to bring her strengths to the court. The team’s post-season run continues as the Mountaineers take on Kingston on Tuesday, March 19 at Bendle High School in Burton at 6:00 P.M.