Injury-riddled Lady Jackets fall on Senior Day

By Alan Brads

A gloomy senior day at Callan Athletic Center featured a runaway loss to Trevecca Nazarene while all three Jacket seniors sat sidelined by injuries.

The Lady Jackets’ season took its first blow in the third game of the year when senior Anne Wheeler suffered a season-ending injury. And when Lydia Sweeney and Makenna Fee joined her on the injury list, Cedarville just didn’t have enough firepower left.

It may not have mattered against Trevecca, as the red-hot Trojans knocked down 10 of their first 12 3-point shots, and sprinted to a 106-66 win.

Cedarville fell to 5-20 (3-15) in its 13th straight loss in what has been a rocky and injury-riddled inaugural campaign for head coach Addy Miller. 

Trevecca bounded to a 16-1 lead, basically scoring at will, and controlling the rebounds on both sides of the floor. The Trojans’ offense never faltered for a moment until late in the second quarter, by which time they’d already drained 11 3-pointers. The Jackets trailed 62-22 at the half.

Cedarville didn’t give up in the second, and showed some fight by forcing steals with a full-court press and denting the gaping differential from 40 to 30, but the first-half blowout was far too big to ever threaten.

The three injured seniors had no option but to idly sit and watch the game unfold.

Pictured- Lydia Sweeney (photo credit: Logan Howard)

Sweeney finishes her senior campaign with 964 career points. The Grand Island, New York, native started at guard for three seasons, racking up 186 steals and 142 assists.

“It’s been some of the best times, and it’s been some of the worst times,” Sweeney said. “But those times grow you. So I’m really thankful to have had the opportunity to be here and grow as a player, but a lot more as a person.”

Sweeney will graduate in May with a degree in health and physical education. She is mulling her options between playing a fifth year of college basketball, or serving as a graduate assistant. One thing is sure:

“I want to be around the game one way or another,” Sweeney said.

Pictured- Anne Wheeler (photo credit: Logan Howard)

Anne Wheeler amassed 497 career points despite playing just three games in her sophomore and senior seasons due to injuries.

“These four years have meant a lot to me,” Wheeler said. “I’ve met some of my best friends here. The experiences we’ve had together and the way we’ve grown together on and off the court have really shaped me as a person. Even with two seasons ended by injury these girls have supported me through it all. So that taught me that the people you surround yourself with are really important.”

Though her future plans remain unclear, she said she is excited to see where God leads her after she graduates this May with a degree in Business Management.

Sweeney and Wheeler have served as anchors of consistency for a team that has had three coaches at the helm in the last four years.

“It’s been a really unique experience to get to lead and be the consistency that’s there for the younger girls,” Wheeler said. 

They both have a passion for helping pass on the successful tradition of Cedarville womens’ basketball, that they alone on this team have truly experienced firsthand.

“We were the ones that could help integrate things from our previous successful program,” Sweeney said.

Pictured- Makenna Fee (photo credit: Logan Howard)

Fee certainly did not imagine herself on the bench for her senior night, but like Wheeler, she’s no stranger to the athletic trainers. This unfortunately marks her third consecutive season ended by an injury for Fee.

“That’s really just taught me to see the bigger perspective on things,” Fee said. “Everything I’ve been through has helped me find peace and find maturity.”

She transferred to Cedarville after two years at Illinoi- Springfield and is currently a graduate student pursuing a master’s in business administration.

“Coming from a state university I wanted to transfer to a Christian school, and I think I picked the perfect one,” Fee said.

She will spend one more year studying for her master’s, possibly while serving as a graduate assistant on the team.

The tired and weary will receive no rest as the Lady Jackets will host the nation’s No. 1 team, Ashland, next Thursday evening.

 Alan Brads is a senior journalism student and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys playing the drums, speaking Spanish and watching Buckeye football like his life depends on it.

Lead photo by Ian Chan

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