Classical girls basketball celebrates season at team banquet

Classical's four seniors, Keyanni Jordan, Skyler Crayton, Jazzmine Masse, Rebecca Walker, gather for a group picture. (Item Photo by Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — The Classical girls basketball team celebrated its season Monday night during its annual awards banquet at Old Tyme Italian Cuisine.

Aside from the several awards given out on the night, Rams coach Tom Sawyer said he was proud to honor a team the represented its school well on the court.

“On the court these kids really represented themselves well,” Sawyer said. “There are certain things we ask them to do when they are apart of this program. I can say unequivocally that these kids emulated every one of those when it comes to being competitive and showing good sportsmanship.

“Also we ask them to have a ‘never give up’ mindset and there were a few games this year that was very evident,” he said. “I hope that they had as much fun as we did coaching them when they were playing the games. The goal is if they take away some friendships and some life lessons that makes a successful season.”

On the court, the Rams finished their season at 11-9 with their season ending in the first round of the Division 2 tournament against Wilmington. A couple of games stand out in defining the season for Sawyer, including a win on the road in Revere and an overtime loss to Beverly.

“Maybe one of the games I’m most proud of was our win at Revere,” Sawyer said. “It’s a very difficult place to play, it’s the complete opposite of our normal environment. We were behind most of the game but we were able to rally in the fourth quarter. It was a great game.

“We may have lost but that game (Beverly) was an example of how we never gave up right to the bitter end,” Sawyer said. “It didn’t work out for us in the end but the effort was there and the fight was there.”

Among the end of the season awards were Jazzmine Masse and Skylar Crayton (both Northeastern Conference all-stars) being co-recipients of the ‘Lady Ram Award’ given to players who encapsulate the characteristics Sawyer and his coaching staff look for in their players. The Rams leading scorer Jean Gupton-Morrison and second leading scorer Amber Crayton were given Leading Scorer Awards while Rebecca Walker won Defensive Player of the Year.

Keyanni Jordan was the recipient of the Coaches Award and Kiara Edmonds and Lindsey Valen won the Academic Achievement Awards.

For junior varsity, coach Rob Smith gave out awards to Reese Brinkler (Rookie of the Years/MVP Award), Deshawna Rucker (Most Improved), Sailor Brinkler (Leadership) and Lindsey Valeri (Hardest Worker).

Sariana Toro (Leading Scorer), Rothana Ngin (Coaches Award) and Marina Mendez (Most Improved) won awards for the freshmen team.

The Rams said goodbye to four seniors, Masse, Walker, Jordan and Skylar Crayton, each given a plaque with pictures from their playing careers as a parting gift.

“Each one of these girls has made us very proud over the last four years,” Sawyer said of the seniors. “They have been exactly what we want at Lynn Classical and they will be very missed. The good news is they are all continuing their education. They haven’t decided yet but whatever school gets these four young ladies will be lucky to have them. That’s really important to us as a coaching staff that they go on and continue their education.”

Sawyer wrapped up the banquet with a message to next year’s returning players with his eyes already on what he thinks will be an even more challenging season.

“Our league is going to be better this year than it was this year,” Sawyer said. “Almost every team that we play has their best players coming back. That’s the truth. If we want to compete next year we need to come back better than we ended this season.”

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