By Luke Casola ’20 and Gautam Natarajan ’20
The girls’ basketball program consists of four teams, two middle school teams along with JV and varsity squads. This season the program does not have a freshmen team due to the lack of players who tried out for the high school teams. The winter season for all teams began in late November and ends in February. All squads competed in a game on Jan. 10 but results were unavailable as of press time.
The varsity team began its season with a win against Taft High School on Nov. 22. The team is coached by girls’ basketball program head, Melissa Hearlihy. It is early in the season, but Hearlihy and the players still want to start strong to set the tone and make a name for themselves. Hearlihy said that she believes the team can win a Mission League title and win a state championship.
This year, the varsity team was selected to compete in the CIF-SS Basketball Open Division, which is made up of the top 16 teams in Southern California. The squad practices six days a week to prepare for games and ultimately the Open Division playoffs. During practice the squad will focus on strengthening their weaknesses.
“We are really concentrating on defense and boxing out, increasing our shooting percentage and free throw percentage and improving the efficiency of our zone offenses,” Hearlihy said.
The varsity squad participated in tournaments in December in order to be the most prepared that they can be for league games. This season, the varsity team will compete in eight league games. It recently defeated Flintridge Sacred Heart on Jan. 5 in the first league game. Guard Ella Price ‘20 gave her view on playing varsity as a freshman.
“It is a little bit intimidating, but everyone on the team is very nice and welcoming, so I’m enjoying that part of it and that aspect,” Price said
The JV team began its season on Nov. 28 with a win against Burroughs. This year, the JV team consists of freshman and sophomore players. The JV coaches are Millie Junio and Allen Foster. The squad practices six days a week including a conditioning practice and has been practicing since August. According to JV forward Rileigh Repovich ‘20, the team’s goal every practice is to work hard on the floor to make games easier.
“One of the main goals of our season is lots of communication and teamwork to reach the ultimate goal of doing our best in the season,” Repovich said.
The middle school campus has two teams. The teams are coached by Natalie Gutierrez and Jay Young. Each team competes in the Delphic League and will compete in eight league games.
The black team consists of mainly eighth grade students because of their experience playing on the red team in seventh grade. The black team opened their season with a win against Brentwood on Dec. 7. According to forward Sophia Johnson ‘21, the team can go undefeated because they perform well as a team. The black squad practices three days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with the red squad. Many players for the black team said that they have high hopes for the season as a team and for improving their own talent and skill.
“My goal for this season is to develop and work on becoming a stronger ball handler, and being more comfortable shooting outside shots. Not only do I want to improve individually but also all together as a team. I want us to try our best and hopefully our hard work and efforts will pay off and get us to the championship,” black team forward Naomi Attal ‘19 said.
The red team consists of mostly seventh grade students and less experienced players. The red team lost their opening game to Marlborough on Dec. 7. The plays that both the middle school teams use are incorporated by varsity coach Hearlihy to prepare the younger players for the next levels of the game.