Lady Rockets Finish Outstanding Season

Adysen Harre, Staff Writer

The Lady Rockets began their postseason run with an impressive 28-2 record. Okawville’s first matchup was on Monday, February, 14th at Dupo High School in the Regional semifinals. The team faced the Metro East Lutheran Knights who held a 5-20 record. Earning their first of many postseason wins with a final score of 77-18, the Lady Rockets were ready to take on their next opponent. 

In their second matchup on February 17, Okawville took on the Regional host team, the Dupo Tigers for the Championship. The Tigers came into the game with a 22-7 record, but the Lady Rockets’ defensive efforts won them a Regional title with a final score of 53-29. Along with their outstanding athletic performance as many have seen all season, the team also showed true Lady Rocket sportsmanship. A Dupo senior, Octavia Heidelburg, was 4 points short of 1,000 in the final minutes of the game. Heidelberg fouled out, but the Lady Rockets asked the officials if she could stay in the game to score her much deserved points. Okawville allowed her to score two layups and helped Dupo celebrate their star player’s achievement.

Despite their awesome Regional victory, the Lady Rockets knew they were not done yet with a Sectional semifinal game up next. The next morning, the team was right back in the gym to prepare to play Hardin Calhoun on Tuesday, February 22. Okawville defeated the Warriors with a final score of 61-35, but their postseason run did not stop there.

The Okawville Lady Rockets played the other Rockets – a strong and well-rounded Routt Catholic High School team that same week on Friday, February 25. With outstanding rebounding and incredible teamwork, OHS came out on top. They won the Sectional Championship with a final score of 54-27. Helping lead the Lady Rockets to win the Sectional Title was junior guard Briley Rhodes with an outstanding 21 points. 

With the game they had been preparing for all season ahead of them and a trip to the State Finals on the line, the Okawville squad was ready for their next matchup against the #1 ranked team, the Brimfield Lady Indians. This Super-Sectional game was highly anticipated as the Lady Rockets were ranked #2 in 1A. Many believed this to be the State Championship game, but instead, it was being played at Brown County rather than in RedBird Arena.

Brimfield was a talented team of nearly all seniors with a record of 29-4. Compared to Okawville’s young squad with only two seniors, Brimfield’s varsity game experience across the board helped them come out on top. The Lady Rockets season came to an end after falling to the Lady Indians 45-42. Sophomore guard, Alayna Kraus, led all scorers with 22 points.

While they may not have made the State Finals run they dreamt of, the Lady Rockets have much to be proud of. A Nashville Thanksgiving Tournament Championship, Mascoutah Holiday Tournament Championship, 2nd place finish at the Highland Tournament, and an Elite Eight appearance are just a few of this team’s impressive accomplishments. Individual athletes also were recognized for their hard work this season. Megan Rennegarbe, Briley Rhodes, and Alayna Kraus were named to the All-Conference and IBCA All-State teams.”I had the opportunity to play with an amazing group of girls this year who worked really well together which played a crucial role in my success this season. This team made me love the sport more and more every day and continued to push me to my limits no matter what the circumstances were.” says starting forward Megan Rennegarbe. The dynamic guard duo of Kraus and Rhodes was additionally awarded AP All-State accolades. “Briley and I have been playing basketball together since 6th grade, then we have recently played on the same select team as well. I think Briley and I’s experience and knowledge of the gameplay a big role in our accomplishments, but also our relationship off the court.  Developing a friendship outside of the game has only made our dynamic stronger. It helps us gain trust and comfort with each other, which plays a huge part in our success,” says starting point guard, Alayna Kraus. 

The Lady Rockets finished the 2022 season with an amazing record of 32-3 and have another great season ahead of them in 2023.