Coming back from a 3-8 losing record and not being used to a losing record, the Girls Varsity Basketball team now enters the second round of league play 11-9 overall and 5-1 in WYL.
The team struggled in the early season to figure out roles on the team and make the freshman feel comfortable. Clarissa Chavez, ’19, said, “Our team was very inexperienced with the addition of 5 new freshmen and the unbuilt chemistry between the team. We also struggled in searching for the correct lineup that would work best.” Kalista Gamez, ’19, said the team’s biggest problem was that all the players were focusing on themselves due to someone taking their starting/ playing spot.
Currently the Hanford Bullpups hold the first place spot in League by going 12-0 last year and 6-0 so far this season. Redwood hopes to break their undefeated league streak on Tuesday 1/23 at home @ 7:30pm. The Rangers lost their first league game early in the season to Hanford by 26 to put their record at 2-4 overall.
Then they travelled to Fresno and Tulare for tournaments going 1-3 and 2-2.
After the 9th loss, the team started to get down on themselves feeling there was no way to dig themselves out of this hole. Chavez said she still believed in the team and when you are at rock bottom the only place you can go is up.”
After the final Tulare tournament game loss against Dinuba, the Rangers begin they’re 6 game winning streak. They got into the roll of league, destroying Hanford West, Lemoore, and El Diamante each by 20+ points. On 1/11 they had a big home game against Golden West who recently lost by only 3 to the Bullpups. Redwood won by 12 points to put their overall record at 9-9 and 4-1 in league. Redwood then participated in the Annual MLK COS showcase against Sanger winning 48-31 putting them at a winning record of 10-9. Friday, 1/19, the Rangers defeated Mt. Whitney 68-26 to finish off the first round of league play with a 11-9 and 5-1 record.
Surfus said if she could have a chance to go back to the start of the season she wouldn’t change anything because, “We had to go through it in order to be at where we are now.” She said it also gave the team the opportunity to adjust to one another and understand everyone’s job on the team.
Gamez said her hope and goal for the rest of the season is to, “keep our winning streak, take one win at a time, practice hard, work as a team to get better, and in the end get a good seeding for playoffs.”
I also interviewed Coach Jason Black and his thoughts on this year’s new team and their 2017-2018 season. He said, “I had to change my approach towards the players and listen to their opinions on how they wanted to help us win.”
He definitely respects all players on the team and is always open to any ideas and thoughts the team wants to share in order to benefit the team. He said the team showed good signs in each game but the team was struggling to understand how to play a full game in order to win. He felt the early losses were, “a humbling experience,” and gave the team the chance to believe in themselves.
After the Golden West game, Black said, “It was a great sign for us because we played well and a complete game…they worked to have a winning record and to feel like the winners they can be/are.”
He told me the team struggled early because, “they are young… and program roles have changed from coming off the bench to being a starter…their responsibility has changed and they have to be able to handle it. Our capabilities started to shine because we were preparing daily with routine drills. A different player each game comes along well and our leaders are capable of meshing the team together well. We are an excellent example of learning to win and we have been doing it very well.”
His hopes by the end of the season are very similar to the rest of the team, play best team basketball, have a winning record, make the playoffs, and advance. He ended off the interview saying, “Finishing off the season with our team feeling that they can accomplish their goals moving forward and taking their experience this year into the next seasons to come and chase their dreams of being champs!”