“It’s really sad just knowing that this will be the last time I will be stepping on the Oyster River court and playing a game. I remember just yesterday being a freshman playing my first game on JV and being so nervous. Now I am a senior on varsity playing my last game,” said senior Taryn Mills, just before she stepped on the Oyster River basketball court to play her last home game on senior night at ORHS.
Friday, February 21st the girls basketball team took the court ready to play their opponent, Sanborn Regional High School. Unlike their first game against Sanborn earlier this season, Friday’s game had a lot more meaning to it for the fans, seniors, coaches and players. Seniors Taryn Mills and Emily Brisson geared up to play their last home game of their high school career as the gym honored them on senior night. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Sanborn won the game, 44-23, leaving Oyster River with an 0-16 record with two games left to go. Their last game is Friday, February 28th against Souhegan.
“Even though the mindset going into the game was hard knowing our record, we had way more support in this game and there was a lot more meaning to it to just work harder and put everything we had into the game for the seniors,” said Brisson.
The gym was packed with fans, showing the highest turnout for any girls basketball game this season. The senior night celebration kicked off with seniors from both teams receiving flowers. Mills and Brisson were brought to center court for pictures with their families. After the short ceremony was over the game was underway.
Sanborn took an early lead in the first quarter and held that lead throughout the game as Oyster River struggled to come back. Mills explained, “even though we lost tonight I probably had the most fun out of any game this season. I played well but I also had a lot of fun with my teammates. We gave it all we got and had fun with it.”
The team is young with more underclassmen than upperclassmen, leaving the seniors with huge leadership roles on the team. “I have learned from the seniors how to stay positive throughout everythings and how to appreciate each other,” said Abby Deane (‘23). Deane also added that the seniors made her transition from middle to high school basketball, “less stressful.”
Agreeing with Deane, Co-Captain Marlee Yoder (‘21) talked about what she learned from the seniors. “It’s super important that you are including everyone on the team and making everything positive no matter what the outcome of the game is. Obviously this season hasn’t been super successful in terms of winning games, but they have kept the mood light and made sure the team bonded.”
Oyster River girls basketball will be losing two seniors who have been in the program since their freshman years and have grown and learned a lot through basketball. “Oyster River basketball has taught me a lot about leadership and how to be a leader in some of the toughest situations especially on this team as we have not won a game all season,” said Brisson.
As the Oyster River girls basketball program will miss the seniors, the seniors will miss their team. “What I will miss most is my connections with teammates. Over the past four years I have made some really good connections with my teammates and they have become some of my best friends,” said Mills.
Head coach, Nicole Casimiro said, “Taryn and Emily are two of the most determined people I have ever met, when they make a mistake or something doesn’t go right they think ‘how can I fix this.’ They don’t get upset or down on themselves or their teammates. That type of grit and determination and perseverance is what we are really going to miss next year.”
Photos by Kaila Lambiasi