Mansfield trio ready to take next step
WELLSBORO - Over the past four years, Mansfield's Jackie Hillson, Emily James and Molly Wood have become household names in the NTL West.
The three have been among the top players in the league throughout their careers, helping Mansfield battle among the league's best year after year.
As seniors this year they had some big goals. They wanted to capture league and district titles to end their careers.
However, things didn't work out exactly as planned. They had a solid year, making it to districts, but they came up short of their ultimate goals.
However, that can't take away what the three have accomplished over the past four years.
"Even though we didn't have the best record, I thought we had a pretty good year," Wood said.
"It was still a good year," Hillson said. "It definitely brought us closer."
A lot has changed from the first time each of the three stepped on the court in a varsity game.
They all got a chance to contribute at the varsity level at a young age, but this year was different. This year they were the senior leaders for the Tigers.
"It was different," Hillson said. "We were used to being the kids and now people looked up to us."
And, the three found that more was expected of them.
"Dom (coach Jason Dominick) was harder on us this year," James said.
Among the younger players on the team this year was Jackie's sister, Ali.
"It made us closer, a lot closer," Hillson said of playing with her sister. I'm glad I got to be here for her first year."
After playing so long for the Mansfield varsity, it's hard for the girls to realize that their high school basketball careers came to an end on Tuesday.
"It hasn't hit me yet," James said.
After battling in the NTL West for years with the other teams, it was a different experience teaming up with those girls on Tuesday.
"We all bonded with each other," James said.
"They were all nice, we are really kind of the same type of players," Wood said.
Going into the game the girls didn't know what to expect, but it ended up being a great experience.
"We had never played with each other before," Hillson said. "We are used to playing against them and we don't like them and we didn't think they liked us. But, it was really great. We all got along. It was a lot of fun."
While the three are done being teammates at Mansfield, Hillson and James are hoping to play together at East Stroudsburg.
"It would be great, we want to room together to," Hillson said.
And Wood isn't sure what the future holds for basketball. But, there is a chance one day she could see James and Hillson on the court again.
"We all might play against each other in college at some point," she said.
Whatever the future holds, the three got one last chance together on Tuesday, picking up one last victory in their Mansfield uniforms.