Girls Basketball falls to Northside in energetic Senior Night matchup


Mara Mellits

Lane’s Lauren Collins breaks past defenders.

By Megan Camacho, Sports Editor

In what was an emotional Senior Night for Lane’s Girls Basketball team, Lane went head-to-head against the Northside Mustangs in a decisive conference game on Jan. 20.

After an intense game full of highs and lows for both teams, the Mustangs would come away victorious 42-34.

Lane Gymnasium glittered green and gold as fans erupted with cheers for the seniors Thursday night, family and friends filling the stands and cheerleaders on the courtside. Off to a hot start compared to past years, Northside (13-8, 4-4 conference) would challenge Lane for fifth place in the Chicago Public – Red North/West Conference. Originally scheduled earlier this month but canceled due to the CPS-CTU reopening conflict, the Northside matchup would be Lane’s final regular-season home game — and the anticipation ran high.

Head Coach Megan Molloy would play the team’s seven seniors throughout the night: Katrina Arsenijevic, Lauren Collins, Zoe Haritos, Hope Johnson, Kayla Jones, Caroline Meyers and Anastasia Lamperis.

Senior Night celebrations kicked off with a speech from Molloy, doting on the team’s seniors and celebrating their accomplishments in the face of COVID-19.

“Senior Night is always a special time,” Molloy said postgame. “It’s for girls you’ve watched grow up in your program. But this season has been really meaningful because we’ve been through a lot with COVID. You have hard times to grow closer, so this group of seniors have a special place in my heart.”

And as with all Senior Night celebrations across every sport, respect and admiration from the team’s younger players shine brightly.

“We cherish our entire team and it’s really nice to see how much love and effort the team has put in for us,” Collins said.

The juniors cheered from the Lane bench as the seniors clashed with the Mustangs. Northside stayed on Lane’s tail throughout the first half, building up points with solid drives and open shots. Although some of Lane’s shots were failing to reach the net, Lane would closely take the first half 20-18.

But the game would shift towards Northside’s favor in the second half.

“We stopped getting nervous and we decided to play for each other,” said Jones postgame, who led Lane with 14 points. “We kind of just let them take the lead.”

Northside upped the pressure on Lane’s offense, forcing Lane to weave the ball around a tight man-to-man defense. Although Lane adjusted to the pressure, cracks in the team’s defense began to emerge as Northside took the lead with consistent three-pointers from the Mustangs’ junior captain Cate Shingler and junior forward Olivia Petrillo. Increasingly aggressive play between the teams drew more fouls, giving both teams chances to build up points — but Lane failed to close the gap with unsuccessful free throws. The Mustangs would continue to widen their lead and defeat Lane 42-34.

Although the game didn’t end how the team wanted it to, they came away appreciating player achievements and friendships. Basketball — and sports in general — aren’t bigger than life, according to Molloy.

“This game isn’t everything,” she said. “It doesn’t define you, it doesn’t define our season. It’s one game. We’re still a strong team that works hard, so we have to move on.”

Lane (7-11, 3-5) will close out the regular season with two away games, starting with a non-conference matchup against Resurrection on Jan. 22 and then Loyola Academy on Feb. 9. They will compete in the Chicago Public League playoffs between those two contests.

Victor Lucero-Pena contributed reporting.