GIRLS HOOPS: Lady Eagles return to playoffs, face Farrell Saturday

Since improving to 7-7, Youngsville’s girls basketball team has lost eight games in a row.

But the Lady Eagles (7-15) have advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2003, and they may actually be on the upswing.

“I’m actually surprised in some ways we made the playoffs… but I will say we had to work hard to get to 7-7 in the first place. We had 10 games we lost by 10 points or less. A couple little things here and there and all of a sudden we’re looking at a record that is ridiculously good,” said Youngsville coach David Becker.

Youngsville made the playoffs as the second-seeded Class A team out of Region 3, which has A, AA and AAA teams. The Eagles will play Farrell at 1 p.m. Saturday at Oil City High School in the six-team District 10 Class A quarterfinals.

Farrell, which boasts three D10 championships since 2007, is also just 7-15.

“I expect they are going to come at us like Eisenhower did in the first game,” said Becker. “If the girls are ready, we’re going to be okay. Somewhere in there, they’re going to have a complete game, because they have come so close. And I believe they have it in them.”

Youngsville is led by senior point guard Katie Chuzie, and junior identical twin scorers Kennedy and Karissa Cratty. Before they lost eight in a row, the Eagles had won four in a row to get to 7-7.

“It means so much to all of us on this team,” said Kennedy Cratty, a forward averaging close to 15 points per game. “Every year we say that one of our goals is to make the playoffs, but we always fell short. But this year we have a great group of girls who dominated though our region games to get us to where we are now.

“Ever since my freshman year I have wanted to go to the playoffs, and now I finally get to go and play and represent Youngsville High School with the rest of my girls… We have a great coach who believes we can win any game that’s thrown our way, and when you have a supportive coach, everyone else follows in and it’s just something that you cannot describe, it’s just something that you feel.”

Becker said he told his group on Friday to stay loose, and have fun – enjoy the experience.

It’s been 10 years since this program made the playoffs, and 2004 – Mark Nyquist’s last year as head coach – was the last year Youngsville had a winning record.

“In order for us to turn around our eight-game losing streak we will have to work together and stay calm,” said guard Karissa Cratty, who averages close to 10 points per game. “They are the more favored team, but if we keep our composure and play like we know how we will do fine. Our team is young, but were good – we have a lot of talent and going to the playoffs shows it… Just because the other team may have more district titles than us doesn’t mean they have more heart than we do, they just have more wins. All of my teammates are talented and when we work together we are unstoppable.”