The 2016 girls basketball season comes to a bittersweet end. Two of our Lady Bobcats, Ashleigh Ramsey and Charity Abpts, receive All State and All Tournament Honors, and the team takes second place in the WACS State Basketball Tournament. The Bay City Lady Bobcats were the number one seeded team going into the tournament with a 16 and 4 record, and they were also the state champions for the last five years in a row. Our young team fought hard to win and to make us six time champions. They came within a few points of victory in the final game against First Baptist Christian School from Waupaca, the number two seeded team. The final score was 33 to 36. Coach Phillips says, “It was a disappointment, but… our team of 6th to 12th graders put themselves together and they had a good year, and I’m proud of them!”
A big highlight of the season is that senior Ashleigh Ramsey and junior Charity Abpts, both received All State and All Tournament Honors. Both awards are a significant achievement.
All State Honors are based on the whole season, and WACS coaches from all of the teams vote on who they think are the best players. Only five players in the state receive this honor. For All Tournament Honors, a committee of Maranatha athletic professionals chooses those who were significant contributors in the state tournament and who show excellent athletic abilities.
When asked how she felt about winning the awards, Ashleigh (Far left in image above) gave a big smile. “I’ve been waiting for this for four years. This is the first time I’ve ever got it. There was always someone on the team who was better than me.”
Coach Phillips says Ashleigh really dominated the game. “She ended up scoring 35 points in the semi final game which we believe is a school record. 35 points in a single game is incredible! Ashleigh had the ability to do that. She had the quickness and way about her that she could… make several plays in a row. It was domination on her part.”
Although it was disappointing to lose the championship game, Ashleigh said she and her teammates gave it their all. “We had a lot of young players coming off the bench. They did very well. I didn’t expect them to play as well as they did against upper classmen.” She also has some wisdom to share with her younger teammates, “Keep a good attitude. I noticed this year that whenever I would get down on myself, it would totally affect the whole rest of the team.”
Coach Phillips was equally thrilled that Charity (Center in image above) received All State and All Tournament Honors. “Charity was probably the most solid player throughout the whole year — not flashy, but just a key contributor.” He added that she always take practice seriously. “She comes. She works hard. She has a great attitude.”
Charity was really excited that her hard work paid off, and she can’t wait for a shot at the awards again next year — and to play with her teammates. “It will be fun to play with the team again next year. It will be a growing year for everybody since there’s going to be a lot of younger kids on it.”
She’s disappointed that the team lost the championship game this year, but explains that it didn’t crush the team spirit. “We could have had six (championship wins) in a row. We knew it was going to end sooner or later, but I don’t feel defeated because we all tried our hardest.”
She says basketball has taught her a lot, “Basketball is a lot of pressure. It kind of helps you to keep calm in tough situations and push people up – cheer them up – keeping the game going, it’s a teamwork job.”
Other players on the team also played a big role in the many successes of the Lady Bobcats this season. Coach Phillips says Elizabeth Thayer was an excellent team captain and he admires how hard she worked in the offseason. Some of the younger players also stepped up and played exceptionally, and even unexpectedly, well. Coach Phillips noticed that 8th grader Caroline Ergish “contributed defensively a lot because of her quickness in being able to pick up a game she’d never played before.” He says 7th grader Samantha Whiteman also stands out, and our young team “gives us pretty solid hope for the future.”
Congratulations to Ashleigh and Charity, and the entire Lady Bobcats team! You have given us another exciting season, and we look forward to next year!