Sports Zone

Chemistry key for Springfield girls basketball

SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Millers girls basketball team showed multiple things in their 61-25 win over Class 4A No. 10 Marist Catholic last week. They showed star power, depth, and disciplined defense against one of the best guards in the area. The biggest thing they showed? Their chemistry.

“I think our biggest strength is how the girls get along together. Honestly, chemistry in girls basketball is a big deal. Does your team get along? Do they love being together, is the locker room a happy place?” said Joe Williamson, Springfield coach. “You just look at our bench. They’re always up supporting each other no matter who’s in the game. So to me it starts there. We have a bunch of girls that get along and love to play together. And as long as they have that, I can coach them to do anything.”

Perhaps one of the best examples of those bench reactions came on Friday. During the fourth quarter when Springfield was up big and the starters were out freshman Darissa Romero-Ah Sam, who gets solid minutes even when the games are close, drove right and finished while getting fouled. Not a single chair on the bench was filled, players and coaches leaped up cheering and flexing, and Darissa’s older sister Danaeja, the reigning 5A state player of the year and scoring leader this year, could be heard shouting “That’s my sis!”

Danaeja led all scorers in the Marist game with 20 and Darissa chipped in 9 for Springfield, which sits at 12-4 and ranked No. 2 in Class 5A and it does have a 54-39 win over the No. 1 team in Silverton. 

The Millers have also won five games in a row, four of those against Midwestern League opponents. A Midwestern League crown would be the programs first since 2018-19, and the first under Williamson.

“That’s what I want. I want that league championship first, and then from there, you talk about state? It would mean a lot,” Williamson said.

High hopes, but also realistic ones. Williamson knows, however, that the team can’t get ahead of themselves. Overlooking opponents is a surefire way to get upset. Three straight wins by a combined 124 points shows that this team is heeding its coach’s warnings.

“Our girls are focused. You just look how we come out against everybody we play. The last three games we had, Ashland, Churchill, and Marist, we definitely had intensity right off the bat,” Williamson said. “You don’t overlook anything, and I don’t even have to ask them, that’s just the kind of kids they are.”



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