AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - With one game left to play in the regular season, senior Skylar Cleavinger is satisfied with where the Bushland Lady Falcons basketball team stands.
" All this hard work is paying off, and we will be remembered," said Cleavinger.
Cleavinger has been a 4-year starter on the Bushland Girls Varsity basketball team.
“Our chemistry to me is probably one of our best characteristics of our team, just because we are truly family and we do love each other a lot,” she expressed.
It hasn’ been an easy road to get here. Four years of building bonds, sharpening skills, and this year- a new head coach.
“When a new coach comes in, and inherits a group of seniors, it can be an iffy proposition as to whether they’re going to buy in,” explained first-year head coach Chris Marks. "They’ve been here longer than the new guy. "
Marks was in luck. The six rising seniors were all in, and the rest of the girls followed.
“In my case, they accepted me and embraced me from day one," recalled Marks. “This group is probably the most fun group to be around that I’ve ever coached, and that’s 20 plus years.”
A change of coach shifted the mindset of the team.
“He’s been great, he’s a really great guy and I’m actually very glad that i got to have him my senior year," said senior Keona Loftis. "I’ve learned a lot from him and he really pushes us as a team to be the best that we can.”
While the uniquely large group of seniors provides stable, ample leadership.
“Leadership roles kind of divvied out evenly between all of us," explained Cleavinger. "So one’s really like the head captain- we’re all just really good teammates and really good friends.”
These two factors combined for a program record- Bushland has won 24 regular season games with one still left to play.
The previous record for regular season wins? 21.
“Its just a testament to how hard these kids have worked, but really kind of anonymously. They didn’t even know until I mentioned it after one of their games last week," laughed Marks.
With a playoff spot clinched, the Lady Falcons are looking forward.
“The mindset going forward is just to play every game like its our last at this point, and to put all that we have into it," said Loftis.
“If we could make it to the regional tournament, I mean that would be a dream come true for all of us," said Cleavinger. "None of us seniors, we’ve been playing for four years, we haven’t seen a team get there.”
But most of all, priority number one is cherishing the time with the basketball family that became Bushland legends.
"Its our job just to come in and be as focused and as intense as we can because time’s running short, we got to make the most of it,” said Marks.
The Bushland Lady Falcons close out their season Tuesday night with a game against the River Road Lady Wildcats.