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Seniors celebrated at final basketball game

Payton Langley prepares to shoot a free throw.

Payton Langley prepares to shoot a free throw.

Isis Frazier, Reporter

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Senior Night marked the end of the season at home as the basketball team faced the Little Axe Indians on Feb. 10.

In honor of the seniors ending their high school basketball careers, the underclassmen came bearing gifts to give the seniors as a farewell.

The boys wiped out Little Axe with a score of 98 to 34 while the girls lost with a tight score of 25 to 28.

Captain Payton Langley is the only senior graduating this year on the girls team. She plans on attending Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville with the intentions of studying criminal justice.

Wesleyan recruited Langley for softball so she intends to take her softball career to the college level. Because of this, she is hanging up her basketball shoes for an indefinite time.

Langley was unhappy with the outcome of the game against Little Axe.

“It’s definitely sad. It was an emotional experience because it was my last home game and we lost,” Langley said.

Despite this, Langley advised her underclassmen teammates one thing: “Always give it your best,” Langley said. “You have to give it your all every single game.”

Captain Brannon Dean will be graduating along with Evan Gutel, Meli McKinney, Chris Phillips and Malachai Garrett.

“Playing my last game in Harding’s gym was bittersweet. I’ll miss it, but I’m ready to see what college has in store for me,” Dean said.

Dean will be committing to play basketball at Oklahoma Baptist University in April. He plans on majoring in sports therapy to pursue a career in physical therapy in the future.

Gutel is taking what he has learned from his high school basketball experience and applying it to his life.

“I’ve learned that if you leave everything out on the court and the worst happens, you can’t just kick yourself down,” Gutel said. “I’m really going to miss playing. Being a part of the basketball team is a lifelong brotherhood.”

Gutel plans on attending University of Oklahoma where he plans to major in in biology and mathematics.

McKinney is undecided on where he plans to attend college. He is also debating between going into nursing or choosing communications as his major.

“I’m glad for all of the experiences I have had with my teammates,” McKinney said. “They’re all really great people and it has been a good season.”

 Phillips joined the team last year, transferring from John Marshall.

“I’ve only been here for two years so it’s like I just started and now it’s finished,” Phillips said. “I really enjoyed the year, but not all things last.”

Also undecided on which college he will be attending, Philips has his eyes on Oklahoma State University for the most part. There, he plans on majoring in either marketing or accounting.

Garrett hit 29 points — a majority of those points coming behind the arch. With those points, Garrett set a record for himself.

Malachai Garrett looks to pass the ball to a teammate.

“It was a better game in my season. Before I haven’t put up any great numbers. I was just putting good things here and there. It just clicked for me,” Garrett said.

Garrett feels that being coached by Wade Wallace is a great honor.

“It’s a lot of hard work. Day in and day out, he pushes you to do your best to never give up. It’s been a great privilege and he has thought me a lot of things on and off the court,” Garrett said.

Garrett hopes to attend University of Central Oklahoma to pursue a degree in elementary education.

Overall, the team agreed that hard work and dedication are the two things that are needed for success.

“Everyone starts at different levels,” Garrett said. “But it’s okay. It’s really about how hard you’re willing to work that will put you above the rest.”

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Seniors celebrated at final basketball game