CEDAR RAPIDS — As the girls’ basketball season begins, Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Mallory McDermott, Sidney McCrea and Sarah Schmitt are preparing for more success.
The Hawks were 16-7 last year and ranked 11th in the final IGHSAU poll. The returning trio is ready to lead Prairie once again.
“Working together off the court as well as on the court helps bring the whole team together,” said McDermott, a junior who led the hawks at 14.9 points per game last season.
The three have been playing basketball together since freshman year and continue to build their own chemistry, as well as the team’s, during the long season.
“If we play off each other, we can play off of everyone else,” said McCrea, who averaged 12.9 points last season as a sophomore.
The three not only work outside of practice to develop their own skills, they work to make the whole team better and more successful.
“We shoot every day outside of practice and lift to get stronger together,” said Schmitt, who averaged 13.1 points a year ago.
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As Schmitt prepares for her final season of basketball as a Hawk, she’s also getting ready to take her skills to the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She is taking every opportunity she can get to help her team this coming season first, however.
Coach Josh Bentley said the three have taught him a lot over years, especially “how to expand my abilities, is huge.”
The work these three girls put in to be better basketball players — and better people — does not go unnoticed.
The team is coming off one of its best seasons in school history. Bentley is looking forward to seeing one of the three finish her career with a strong senior season and help her teammates prepare for the future.
“The three make the whole team better by pushing their teammates and creating a competitive spirit,” Bentley said.
The Hawks open the season Nov. 20 at Muscatine.