By: Kirsten Thomas and Rachel Holbrook
Not only were the Bellbrook Girls basketball team SWBL champs, they were UNDEFEATED in their regular season games. They made it to district finals, despite being one of the smallest D1 teams there. On top of that, each year 10 players from SWBL teams are selected as “first team-all league players.” Five of them came from Bellbrook this year.
Sophomore Alayna Meyer was one of those 10 athletes to receive the award. Standing only 5’2″, Meyer is a powerhouse on and off the court. She has been on Varsity both years of high school. This year, Meyer broke the previous Bellbrook record of 54 three-pointers in a season. She made 62 this season. Her shot percentage for threes was 48%. Making this all the more impressive, Meyer tore her ACL last year and had surgery in April. Recovery time was expected to take more than a year, but by working hard, she was able to get back into the game after only 6 months. She even started the season with limited playing time.
Alayna Meyer isn’t just a natural athlete; she puts in the work to be her best. She comes to school early three days a week to shoot for 45 minutes. She’s been playing since she was four, and started playing year-round in third grade. When asked what keeps her motivated, she said, “If you don’t have love and passion for the game, you’re just not going to play that long.”
The team wasn’t just a team. They were also good friends. After they lost at districts, they had a team sleepover. Meyer’s favorite memories from this season are the simple things. She enjoyed munching on snacks in the locker room with her team (Poptarts, trail mix, Gatorade), bus rides on the way to games listening to hype music, and just being with her teammates. At one of the last practices, Reggie brought the whole team milkshakes because he works at Chick-fil-A. Meyer remembers when she accidently spilled some of her milkshake on a boy’s lacrosse bag, and her teammates ran away, abandoning her to clean it up…all by herself. But, she does love her teammates and considers that practice to be one of the most memorable ones of the season.
Alayna Meyer is very thankful for all of her coaches. One coach that made a huge impact in her life is Paul Guess. He has been a huge supporter. She can always go to him for advice. After she tore her ACL last year, Guess gave her the confidence she needed to get back playing on the court just like before.
Next year, the team is looking strong once again. This Bellbrook Basketball season was the last one for Senior Dreann Price. Meyer describes her as “one of the most athletic girls I’ve ever seen.” It will be hard to replace her talent and lightheartedness on the court next year. However, the team will still have its starting players and the same coaches next year.