Lady Raiders reflect on impressive season

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Rider Media

Rider’s Addy Self and the Lady Raiders finished up a strong 2020-21 season.

Olivia Davenport, Staff Writer

The Rider girls basketball team recorded several impressive numbers this season. 

They finished with a 23-5 record and went undefeated in district. 

They rose to No. 3 in the state and advanced to the regional semifinals. 

Junior Addy Self and sophomore Jaylnn Bristow even surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their high school careers. 

But to these ladies, their biggest highlights aren’t stats. 

“Since COVID, we were closer together,” Bristow said. “We got more time with each other, even with all the restrictions and everything. It was mainly being there with the team.”

The ladies started off the playoffs with individual as well as team victories. Self reached 1,000 points during the first round of playoffs, an impressive achievement.

I was more excited about winning the first playoff game than I was 1,000 points,” she said. “But it was all in one night, so I was kinda excited but I was very proud of myself. I thought I would never get to 1,000 points.”

While Rider swept through the next round, the regional quarterfinals was a different story. The Lady Raiders trailed Lake Dallas by as many as 15 points early on. 

But the team was not going to give up. The ladies came together as a team, put in the work and closed the gap. With less than a minute left, senior Jill Leslie made the game-winning shot, ending with a 53-52 win.

“It was crazy,” Leslie said. “We were down the whole game and when coach (Kendall) Webb called the play for me, I was excited because I had missed a few before, and I was ready.”

Though losing in the same round two years in a row can be heart-wrenching, Self will not let it get her down. 

“It motivates me a lot,” said Self about losing in the fourth round twice in a row. “It motivates me to be a team leader and I’m just really excited to take revenge on all the teams that beat us.”

But Leslie, who signed to play basketball at Oklahoma Baptist,  and the other five seniors don’t get the chance to get redemption for this season. In the end though, she doesn’t look back in sadness. 

“It’s crazy to be a senior,” she said. “But it was a lot of fun and I was grateful for the girls it was with. They were all super fun to be around and I wish we were still going.” 

As the season concluded, Bristow reflected on it with these humbling words. “Of course I was sad about it,” she said. “But I mean we always have next season. It will be different with the seniors not there, but in the end it’s high school basketball.”