Underwood, Warren bid farewell

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Senior guard Taylin Underwood prepares for a free throw. She led the Lady Lions with 19 points against Nicholls State University in her final game. Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar  

The Lady Lions basketball team closed their season with a 79-64 loss against Nicholls State University on “Senior Day.”

With the loss on Saturday, March 3, the Lady Lions finished with an 8-21 overall record. Head Coach Ayla Guzzardo described her first season leading the program.

“A learning experience,” said Guzzardo. “I’m 29 years old. I might be the youngest head coach in Division I but I’m learning every day, and that’s something I won’t take for granted. I’m learning from the players. I’m growing with them, and I’m just happy to be given this opportunity.”

Prior to the game, senior guards Bre Warren and Taylin Underwood were honored. Guzzardo described the qualities the seniors brought to the team.

“They’re both leaders,” said Guzzardo. “They both bring leadership to our program, and that’s something that is irreplaceable. Anytime you lose two very good leaders on your team, it’s hard to bounce back, but they’ve also taught the ones younger than them. So, they’re cultivating this culture, and they’re helping us start something that’s gonna be successful here at Southeastern. We’re gonna miss them dearly, but they have a lot of things to be proud of.”

Warren suffered from an injury that led her to miss out on her last season as a Lady Lion. She described her experience at the university and the lessons she learned from being a part of the program.

“I transferred from a school up north and came down south for my family into this great community,” said Warren. “So, the experience was great. I’m not gonna lie, it was hard to cope in the beginning. I learned more being hurt outside of basketball about my life and on how to be a better person.”

Warren shared the next steps of her life and gave her thoughts on how the team would perform in the next season.

“The next part of my life is probably gonna be more schooling so I can get the best possible job that I can,” said Warren. “I think that we proved to everyone that we became a better team. I think it just gets better from here.”

In her final season, Underwood led the team with 530 points for the season. She described her experience playing her last game as a Lady Lion and her experience in the program.

“Very emotional,” said Underwood. “It was a little hard to go out there and play considering it was the last one. Like I said, it was pretty emotional for all of us. I wouldn’t change it. It was great. I haven’t had the outcome I’d wanted, but I do think this past year it was great. I loved it, all of it.”

Underwood discussed the team’s performance during the 2017-18 season. Although she didn’t get the ending she hoped for, Underwood is optimistic about the program’s future.

“We struggled in the beginning, but that didn’t show how we are as a team,” said Underwood. “We came back in the end and played our hardest. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to where we wanted to be, but I think we did really great. I’m excited to see how they’ll do next year. I think they’ll do great considering the way we played this year. We played so much like a team, and I think they’re gonna carry that over. They’re gonna do just as good.”

Guzzardo looks forward to the next season and expects the team to come out fighting.

“We still have two captains remaining in our team, Kyla Williams and Ashailee Brailey,” said Guzzardo. “So, still two captains that we have here, but we need to get some more fight. We need to find Taylin’s fight and Bre’s vocalness. If we could do that and take that from those two seniors that are leaving, we’re gonna be a tough team next year. Next year, we’re gonna make some noise in the Southland Conference.”