Women’s basketball dominates the start of the season


Miller Davis

EMHS Women’s Basketball takes victory over Yukon.

Macey Thaxton, Staff Writer

Halfway through the 2022-2023 basketball season, Edmond Memorial’s Women’s basketball team has proven they deserve to hang yet another championship banner in the gym this year.

The team stands in second place in the Central Oklahoma District, only behind Edmond North. The girls are 10-2 with their losses being to Edmond North and Bixby, who were in the state finals last year. Playing through the season so far, the girls on the team have truly become closer.

“This team is truly a sisterhood. When you have a culture where the girls want to be around each other, they build that trust, and you have to trust your teammates if you’re going to be successful,” Head Coach Rachel Crabaugh said.

The teammates that make up this year’s top-tier team all have their own individual accomplishments as well. Team captain and point guard Baylor Franz has averaged 15 points and four assists per game so far this season. In Nov. 2022, she signed to play Division One basketball for the Air Force Academy next year. 

“I’ve always wanted to play Division One basketball while preparing for a life of service,” Franz said.

Another player to look out for as the season wraps up is point guard and shooting guard, sophomore Janiyah Williams. The “star move-in” player has been off the court due to a hip injury but is on her way back in the coming weeks. Despite her injury, Williams holds the title of 12th in the nation for the class of 2025 by ESPN magazine and is the number one women’s basketball player in Oklahoma for the class of 2025. 

Memorial has been averaging 67 points per game as a team, with recent home triumphs over Yukon, Edmond Santa Fe and Broken Arrow. The Bulldogs have also dominated at away games with victories over Norman North, Westmoore and Norman. 

“We have a lot of energy on our team and that’s one thing that makes us so strong,” shooting guard, sophomore Avery Hjelmstad said. 

Many of the players are thinking ahead to the state championship and are anticipating adding another banner to the gym along with softball, pom and volleyball at the end of the year. 

“I think we have a really good chance of winning state. We just keep getting better as we progress through the season,” Williams said.

The energy provided by the Dog Pound affects the players’ energy levels and therefore can change the trajectory of the entire game. Unfortunately, not as many students show up for the women’s basketball games as they do for the men’s.

“When you’re a female in sports, you’re constantly wanting people to show up for you like they show up for the guys,” Crabaugh said. “At the Edmond North game, when the student section was packed and people were standing and cheering for these girls, it was a game changer.”

Upcoming home games to prepare to fill the gym include games against Stillwater (Jan. 27), Mustang (Feb. 3) and Norman (Feb. 17). There are also chances to pack the student section at away games, especially at Edmond North (Feb. 14) and Edmond Santa Fe (Feb. 10).

Contact Macey Thaxton at [email protected]