The score is within five points, there are three minutes left and the players on the court are tirelessly fighting to win their game.
The girls varsity basketball team has faced high-intensity games all season long. After a tough season last year, the team has been working to improve their abilities and make the playoffs as underdogs.
The team struggled to win games last year and faced many frustrations. But with a recent change in coaching staff, the girls are ready to improve and put their last season behind them.
Newly appointed assistant coach Jacob Page has come into the season with new energy to motivate the girls.
“We have confidence in the girls to get the job done and be successful. It’s fun being the underdog; it makes the games edgy,” Page said.
According to junior Bailey Cohen, there has been a change in the dynamic of the team this season.
“Our practices are definitely more challenging, which is good because that gets projected into games,” Cohen said. “We have a lot more offensive sets and options that we can run, and our coaching staff is really good; they push us really hard.”
Junior Maria Mercado has also played on the girls basketball team throughout her high school career and agreed that the team’s attitude has changed positively this season.
“Having a new coaching staff has brought new energy, which is positivity. People are more excited because we think we can go somewhere this year,” Mercado said.
Although the team has improved greatly since last year, they are still trying to improve during the season and in games.
“It’s been a struggle so far. We are 3 to 6. We’re having a hard time coming together and playing as a unit. We have a lot of special talents but were still trying to figure out how to mesh together and make things click,” Page said.
To help improve the team, head coach Kendell Jones and Page have tried new tactics in practice.
“A lot of defense and working on the basic principles,” Page said. “How to all be on the same page on defense with all five girls on the floor is important when it comes to being a good team. Basic motion offense and being confident on the court and being themselves.”
Even after a loss, the team has not lost motivation and aspires to do better each game.
“We think about what we could change in the game and watch film and work to get better at it. Erase the last game and think about the upcoming one,” Mercado said.
The team is hopeful for where they will be able to go this season. Mercado believes that with hard work and determination, the team as a whole has focused on improving from their past season and want to make it to the playoffs this year.
“We’re all more excited and confident in what we can do this season,” Mercado said.