Girls basketball’s senior night success

The girls basketball team won their first game of the 2021-22 season on Friday, Jan. 21, defeating John R. Lewis by a final score of 33-27.
The win did not come easy for the Atoms, who fell into an early 12-4 deficit, but the fire and energy that the girls have played with all season long shined in the comeback. The Atoms immediately responded and turned the eight point disadvantage into a one point lead in the second quarter.
A turning point for the Atoms came in the third quarter, when junior point guard Amanda Salisbury dribbled past defenders, spun, and passed to sophomore Susan Aburish for a three-pointer that extended the Atoms lead over the Lancers.
The win was monumental for the girls program, who held their senior night to celebrate the four seniors who have played key roles throughout the team’s development over the course of the season.
“It meant the world to me. My girls did their thing and I was beyond excited and proud,” senior Nyah Stallings said.
Nyah is a senior captain and has been a member of the team for all four years of high school.
This group of seniors has meant everything to the team both on and off the court, leading the team through adversity and keeping a positive attitude throughout it all.
“I’m 100 percent confident that I can speak for the rest of the team when saying that this group of seniors has definitely been the best,” junior guard Nicole Perez said.
“They’re like our older sisters that we look up to and love so much, they’re great role models to us and we all aspire to one day try and fill their shoes as they graduate,” Perez said.
Despite restrictions on fans due to the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the crowd was electric on Friday night.
“Senior night was the best experience ever, the atmosphere was incredible and I truly felt loved and happy. My family was so proud of me and loved every second of the game” senior Connie Shamdin said.
With seven games remaining on the schedule ahead of the district playoffs, the Atoms look to build momentum off of their senior night win heading into the tournament.
“For the remainder of the season I want to always keep a positive mindset and give every game my all as if it was the last,” Shamdin said.
AHS lost the first 11 games of their season, keeping games competitive with Manassas Park and Park View, but ultimately falling short of their first victory until their six point win over Lewis.
“I think that we have definitely progressed in our play, we are starting to put things together gradually and the results are beginning to show,” Perez said. “We are hungry to win every game we get the chance to play and that has helped us become even stronger and more competitive.”
The Lady Atoms will travel to Hayfield this upcoming week in hope to avenge their previous 29 point loss vs. Hayfield.