Women’s Basketball is Golden

The women’s basketball team looks to make a tournament run, led by leading scorer and senior Layla Gold


Senior Layla Gold attempts a free throw in a game against Warren Central on Nov. 8. Gold scored 31 points in a 45-44 Irish victory.

The pathway to success on the Hill is different for everyone. Each incoming class pulls students from over 100 grade schools across the state of Indiana, and every year the school receives a handful of transfer students attracted to Cathedral’s unique culture.

For the 2021-2022 school year, one of those transfers was Layla Gold, who at the time was a junior, standing six feet tall and coming off of a magnificent sophomore basketball season at her previous school, Park Tudor. 

From a young age, basketball was a huge part of Gold’s life. Coming from a basketball family, (her dad coached men’s JV on the Hill for two years), she started playing when she was three years old. Gold bounced around different middle schools before finally landing at Park Tudor for high school.

Gold considered attending both Cathedral and Park Tudor, but she ultimately chose the latter due to its smaller, enclosed environment. As a freshman Gold burst onto the scene for the Panthers, averaging a whopping 20.5 points per game along with leading the team in blocks. Her sophomore season saw her maintain her dominance, as she scored efficiently while leading the team in assists and steals as well.

However, after that 2020-2021 season, Gold decided that it was time for a change. She said, regarding her decision to transfer to the Hill, “I saw a couple of the (women’s basketball) games, and then I got to meet more people so I knew more people coming in. Just the way that the school was ran, I liked it better.”

One would think that a fresh start as a junior in high school would be difficult, but for Gold, the opposite was true. She said, “I don’t think (the transition) was hard. I think it’s easy to make friends when you play a sport, because those are the people you see every day.” With the addition of a player as prolific as Gold, the team saw an immediate boost in performance. They improved their record by four games from the previous season, as Gold provided some much needed scoring and leadership on a relatively young team. 

Head Coach Mrs. Lisa Finn said, regarding Gold’s impact, “She gave us a piece to build our offense around. She also helped with handling the ball for us.”

Gold’s scoring dropped to 15 points per game her junior year, as she was sharing the ball with teammate and senior Katie Bremer. The duo combined to average 27.8 points per game of the team’s average of 50, and they finished with a record of 15-10 and a loss to North Central in the Sectional. 

It was all about my mental and my confidence in doing it, and just believing in myself.

— Layla Gold

After the season, Gold focused on getting better, and zeroing in on her recruitment. She had been a target of mid-major schools throughout the Midwest since her freshman year, when IUPUI and Illinois-Chicago showed interest. As she progressed as a player, schools started to show heavy interest. Gold said, “Indiana State and Marion. Those were the most consistent, like they pushed me the hardest to try to get me to go there.”

Gold took a visit to Indiana State, but her recruitment changed drastically after she attended a camp at Valparaiso University. She said, “I just went to (the) camp, just for the heck of it and after the camp, the  coach asked to talk to me, and then ever since then she followed me and then eventually ended up offering me.”

Gold visited campus at Valparaiso two more times since the camp, and she was very impressed. “I really like the basketball facility and where they hang out at. And then I like that it’s not too far spread apart, so I’ll know where everything is once I get there.”

Gold announced her commitment to Valpo on twitter on Nov. 9, the same day she signed her letter of intent. She plans to major in nursing.

Coincidentally, Finn also attended Valpo and played there before graduating in 2000. But, according to Gold, Finn had no impact on her decision to commit there. She said, “(Finn) didn’t know anything about me looking there or anything until they offered me.”

With her commitment out of the way, Gold turned her focus to the start of her senior season, and she got off to a roaring start. As of Dec. 9, the team has played 8 games and Gold has scored 20 or more points in six of them. This streak included a 31 point performance in a one-point win over Warren Central on Nov. 8.

Gold is averaging 24.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and over one block per game, leading the team in all three categories while shooting 38% from the three point line.

Finn says that the key to Gold’s dominance so far this season is her flexibility. “If teams put a guard on her, we play her around the basket. If teams switch and put a post on her, we can move her to the perimeter. She finishes really well around the rim, but is a good outside shooter as well and has really good range,” Finn said.

According to Gold, no drastic changes in her skills were made over the offseason that can explain her performance to start the season. Instead, she attributes it to her mind, saying, “It was all about my mental and my confidence in doing it, and just believing in myself.”

Along with her steps taken on the court and in her mentality, Finn has seen some strides in Gold’s leadership as a senior. She said, “(Layla) really has shown some good leadership. Obviously, on the court she is a player that we can build things around.  Off the court, she is lighthearted and has built a good rapport with all of the coaches and players.”

Gold will look to continue her dominance for the rest of the season, as the team (5-3) will look to achieve a Sectional Title, and, possibly, make a run to the program’s first State Championship since 2001.