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Cinco Ranch's Kassidy O'Brien
It was no secret prior to the season that Kassie O’Brien was on another level.
Cinco Ranch’s junior setter put up her best stat-line to date (1,385 assists, 388 digs, 137 kills) over the course of the Fall season which resulted in the team reaching the State Final for the first time in program history.
Despite her individual accomplishments which also earned her an All-State Tournament nod, O’Brien conceded that she didn’t do it alone.
“I was very blessed,” she said. “We have a great group of girls, and we all just have a great connection. Being able to lead the team, not just by setting, but through the mental aspect – having everyone on the same page – was a responsibility I cherish. But I wouldn't be where I was without my teammates and their performances. It’s been one heck of a ride.”
Photo provided by Kassidy O'Brien
She and her teammates enjoyed the full “state experience” when they were sent off to Garland, TX this past month for the tournament.
“It was really cool,” said O’Brien. “We walked through the halls and all the students were out cheering for us. We had this charter bus that passed by all the junior high schools that feed into Cinco, and their students were there waving and holding signs. That kind of support for us was something else.”
The Cougars would ultimately come home with silver medals around their necks, after their bout with Grand Oaks in the title game. However, that doesn’t dismiss the fact that O’Brien and co. set a new precedent for the program.
Since then, O’Brien recently got the chance to make her official visit with her future team at the University of Kentucky, where she got to witness the group become SEC champions.
Photo provided by Kassidy O'Brien
“The visit was amazing,” she said. “The coaches are wonderful there, and being able to witness them compete in their last game to win the championship was crazy to watch in person. Seeing all the feels in the atmosphere was really reminiscent of what we (Cinco Ranch) had. We also did some other fun things like go around campus and visit the Keeneland horse-racing track, so it was all kind of an overwhelming experience.”
The good news for Cinco Ranch is that O’Brien, along with various other key players, such as Gabriella Martinez and Maggie Finnegan, have another year to play before they graduate and move on to their respective colleges.
So, what’s next for the Cougars?
“We’re definitely going to have to rebuild a little bit next season, because we’re losing some big players, like Makenna (Loo), Ariana (Willis), Shea (Rainosek), and Emily (Killam) to graduation,” O’Brien said.
“But, I think going forward, and remembering how far that we made it is going to be a big piece in our advancement. Since we did go so far, people are still going to be coming for us because they know what we’re capable of.”
With that mentality, who’s to say that Cinco can’t do it again a year from now?
Camille Torrence & Aniya' Foy of Cinco Ranch Girls Basketball
There are four players from the State of Texas ranked in the ESPN HoopGurlz rankings for the Class of 2025.
One of those resides at Cinco Ranch High School in Aniya Foy. The junior led Cinco Ranch to a 24-11 mark and a trip to the playoffs, while averaging a team-leading 18.5 points per game and chipped in 7.4 rebounds, 2.3 steals and two assists per game on top of that.
Camille Torrence returns for her junior year after averaging 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Cougars. Others to watch include Jinhwa Jung, Keeana Hickman and Kinsley Harding.