With a regular season record of 23-6, the Dominican Basketball Team reached the Division I state semifinals in Alexandria for the third year in a row. Following their 40-24 win against Byrd in the state quarter finals, Dominican faced Mount Carmel and ended the season with pride.
The team’s Feb. 28 game against the Cubs ended their run but undoubtedly showed the determination and grit the players showcased throughout the season.
“I’m so proud of this team and all they’ve accomplished. Getting to know and work with these players is such an honor,” said Mr. Ryan Reuter, head basketball coach.
The team began the season the same way they finished – strong. Dominican’s performance earned the team a “high power rating” from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association heading into the post season.
The 2018-2019 season, while a success for the team, was by no means an easy lay-up.
Two varsity players suffered major knee injuries, benching them for the season.
Sophomore starter Grace Hamblin, center, tore her meniscus in mid-November, forcing her to undergo surgery early in the season. Hamblin’s teammate freshman Allison Tullier, forward, tore her ACL in January, which ended her season.
Without two key players, the team fought to earn every win.
“After losing two teammates, everyone’s definitely had to step up,” said Ahjah Yunusah, varsity captain. “A lot of people had to fill those starter positions and just go with it.”
Yunusah, a senior and starting forward, led the team on and off the court, playing in all 29 games this season and motivating her fellow athletes to play for something bigger than themselves.
“We’ve had to work harder in practice and games, and the bond that comes from that work is what has made us this successful,” said Yunusah. “We try to play for Grace and Allison because we know they’re counting on us.”
In her final season, Yunusah scored a total of 177 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic held at the Alario Center in January.
With strong leadership and staunch determination, Dominican basketball showed dedication and nerve, slam dunking tournament after tournament.
The Sugarbowl, De La Salle and Episcopal tournaments all ended in black and white victory, and the team’s unremitting efforts helped players to keep their heads in the game even on the hardest days.
Freshman Sydney Sherman, forward, led the team in scoring with 187 season points. As a varsity starter, Sherman was also named to the Allstate Sugarbowl All-Tournament Team, helping the team to victory time and time again.
Junior Kylie Barre, guard, also had a notable season with 47 steals and 70 assists as an upperclassmen starter. Barre was named as the Allstate Sugarbowl Tournament’s Most Valuable Player and sees a bright future for the upcoming season.
Two underclassmen also rebounded the season by stepping up to the hoop and holding their own. Guard Kate Baker along with forward Sherman were both played as Varsity starters and slam-dunked their freshmen season on the team.
In the post season, the team’s accolades kept coming. Captain Ahjah Yunusah was named to the LHSAA All-Academic Basketball Team; Freshman Sydney Sherman was named to the All-District Basketball Team; and Junior Kylie Barre was named to the All-District Basketball Team, the Clarion Herald Girls Elite Basketball Team, and awarded with an All-Metro Honorable Mention.
“They work hard. They’re scrappy,” said head coach Ryan Reuter. “I feel fortunate to coach good players and good kids. Not everybody has that experience.”
The team may have wrapped up their season, but Mr. Reuter is already looking to next year.
“We have a fairly young team, but the players are experienced and not overwhelmed by the game,” said Mr. Reuter. “I’m excited to see what next season holds for our up and comers.”
Barre agrees. “I’m really excited to see what next season holds for us,” she said. “I think the seniors this year definitely set the tone, and I just hope we can lead this team as the past seniors have led me, passing down what they’ve taught us season after season.”
“I can’t wait to be back and on the court with my favorite group of people,” she added. “Our hopes for next year are to bring home a state title and show everyone what Dominican basketball is all about.”
- Vivian Palmer