The Champs of the Section… Once Again


Snip, Snip, SNAP! The nets have been cut down! For the second consecutive season, the Greater Latrobe girls basketball team are the Class 5A Section 4 Champions in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics League. Led by a strong record of 17-3 (11-1) in section play), the chemistry has carried over from last year’s strong and surprising season. Seniors Anna Rafferty and Bailey Watson, juniors Camille Dominick and Emma Blair, and sophomore Elle Snyder have played huge roles for the team this year and continue to make big strides. 

The success for the team started last season when the Wildcats won their section for the first time since 2007. 

This season the team accomplished something that hasn’t been done in over twenty years, winning the section in back-to-back years. The last time that was accomplished were in the 1998 and 1999 seasons. “The feeling is amazing. Just the fact that it was back-to-back and now that we get both years upon the banner in the gym and one day we’ll be able to come back to the school and look back that I was a part of both years,” said senior point guard, Bailey Watson. 

The team is highlighted by its incredible chemistry. Most of the players who are on the team were on the section-winning team from last year, so the players can easily adapt to one another’s play. “I think being that the team is really close, we’re all best friends and we all get along really well which helps us play well,” said Watson. 

Bailey in particular has pushed herself in order to get the best out of the team and make sure that they find a way to win at the end of 32 minutes. “Being that I’m a senior and I’m a point guard, I’m the leader on the team. I run all of our offenses and people look up to me for any advice or gameplay,” said Watson. 

Last year, as a junior, Bailey was playing a critical role for the team in their section-winning season. Now she’s taken on more of a role with being one of only two seniors on the team. “Winning it last year as a junior, I was still a big part of the team. But now that the seniors graduated, I took a bigger role and it’s even better having the section title my senior year. So I feel like there was a heavier weight, but I knew it was a bigger accomplishment for me,” said Watson.

With back-to-back section titles, a certain sense of accomplishment is evident for the Lady Cats. The sense of pressure to perform at the highest level and knowing that you are going to get every team’s best against you can be alarming. 

But even looking dead-on at that pressure, the Wildcats are looking to embrace it. “I think so. Everybody knows to “look out for Latrobe” like we have this big target on our back that we are a good team, that everybody wants to play their best against us or if they beat us they know it’s a big thing. So it definitely makes us feel like we have that pressure to play well and perform every game,” said Watson. 

Last year had some great memories for the players and coaches that will last a lifetime, but they ended up coming short of their ultimate goal in the Class 5A Championship and they will make sure that last year isn’t a repeat. “I feel that we are more prepared since we have most of the same girls as last year that contributed to the section title. Even though we lost last year in the semifinals, this year being on the other side of the bracket we know that we have to win these next three games in order to get to the big game against Chartiers Valley,” said Watson. 

The team will begin their push towards the championship on Tuesday, February 22, against the Mars Fighting Planets at the Wildcat Den, at Greater Latrobe Senior High School, at seven o’clock.