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Ahfachkee girls’ basketball team championship bound

ahfachkeebball09BIG CYPRESS — Ahfachkee School’s varsity girls’ basketball team was just a few games closer to delivering a monumental first in Florida regional competition history.

In packed bleachers at the Herman L. Osceola Gymnasium, spectators cheered with every successful block, steal and basket.

“If we win this game, we’ll be first in the district and could head to regionals,” said principal Lucy Dafoe during the Jan. 17 game against Seacrest Country Day School at the Big Cypress Reservation.

The night’s 57-46 victory against Seacrest put the Lady Warriors at 12 wins and two losses for the overall season and at the top of 2A District 10.

Top scorers senior Gianna Wargolet and junior Sabre’ Billie slammed 14 points and 17 points, respectively, in the game.

“The girls were on fire and Dayra (Koenes – eighth grade) played the best defense ever this year,” said head coach Brandon Jones.

Other team members include Dasani Cypress (eighth grade), Malari Baker (senior), Leilani Gopher (sixth grade), Sara Osceola (senior) and Charli Frye (sixth grade).

The back and forth game against Seacrest, with Ahfachkee keeping the lead throughout, kept spectators and the school’s first official cheerleading squad on their feet.

Jones said the reservation school stands a good chance at becoming the first Native American school to go on to compete in the regional championship. Gualberto Mollings, a physical education teacher at Ahfachkee serves as the team’s assistant coach.

Jones said he is proud of the team.

“Yes, we’re hoping to go to regionals, but we are building a legacy – that’s more important than a championship,” Jones said.