SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Washington girls basketball team claimed its second title in the last three season with a 54-36 win over Pierre in the title game last weekend.
The Washington Warriors entered this year’s state tournament as the top overall seed, the same position they held last year. But their 2022 campaign ended short of a championship with a quarterfinal loss to Jefferson. This year, Washington would not be denied, winning the three games in the tournament by a combined 45 points.
“We kind of came in with a chip on our shoulder a little bit, like we had something to prove. We had jokes in the locker room, like we called it our revenge season because we could have won it last year, but we did not step up in the big moments,” Washington senior Brooklyn Harpe said.
“We just focused on ourselves and doing our things, what we needed to work on to be better and just like being positive with each other and lifting each other up,” Washington sophomore Grace Peterson said.
“The championship part is obviously really unique, really special, but this is just a great group of kids. They’re a lot of fun to be around. And I think you can see that from sitting in the bleachers. The way that they played together. The way that they communicated,” Washington head coach Jamie Parish said.
The culture in the locker room proved to be the key ingredient in their title run.
“We were all comfortable with each other. We always lifted each other up. Did all like the little things, never got upset with each other, didn’t break each other down,” Peterson said.
“Every single girl on this team is so positive. We’ve never had any arguments in the locker room. I know teams that have torn each other down, and it’s cost them games,” Harpe said.
Harpe led the way for Washington with 21 points in the championship game. She is one of six players who ends her high school career with this title. She and her sister Hannah will continue their careers at USF next season.