“They just kind of let up, they started backing up on their coverage (in the second game) ... and weren’t playing their game,” Crane said. “It does (worry me.) Every time she (Anderson) called a timeout, I was talking to them, telling them they needed to pick up the pace because going into tomorrow we start off with Mascoutah … They’re not going to get away with that. They aren’t gonna be able to play that way when they’re all standing straight up.”
As slowly as they stared, the Toppers finished equally strong, closing out the second game with a 16-1 run to cap off a 22-3 regular season with an unblemished 13-0 record in the VVC.
The 2013-2014 squad is the first class that Crane has coached from their freshman year as Crane, and her assistant coach Maileen Calhoun came on the coaching staff four years ago.
“It’s kind of sad because this is the first group we’ve started with,” Crane said. Jordan (Marganski) I’ve known her since she was little. Janelle (Marion), I had her when I coached at holy family and Lexi (Rangel), I met her her freshman year here. I’ve been around the girls for quite a while … it’s sad to see them go, but I know they’re going to be successful.”
Crane wasn’t the only coach with admiration for her players, though. After the matchup, as the teams were shaking hands, Lynn Anderson approached Gross – who has one year left with the Toppers -- to convey her respects and to wish the Toppers, and Gross, well.
“I told her that I respect her as a player,” Anderson said. “I just know she’s good. She’s a tough player. She can play all the positions and she’s just good. I don’t know what else to say. She’s just a great player, period.”