by Austin Peterson

Despite the season’s rocky start, the girls basketball team still intends to crush their competition in the season to come.
At the time of this writing, the team is in the Inglewood Classic tournament against bigger public schools, in contrast to the St. Anthony’s tournament of the past three years. The team is confident, though, in their record of two wins, one loss.
Indeed, the girls have already established high goals for the season.
“We fully intend to win Prep League and go further than we did last year, which would mean going to CIF finals,” said senior Emily Lapham.
In particular, the addition of new team members has reignited the team’s enthusiasm. Sophomore Lauren Ouye and freshmen Kelly Ouye and Kylie Bethel to the team have, for the first time, brought the team’s goals into reach.
“We have ten amazing players who can contribute both on and off the court, and we are definitely going for a championship,” said Lapham.
Also, the return of senior Val Geiger is guaranteed to attribute to the teams success this year. “It is good to be back. The whole team wants CIF real bad, and it really shows in their effort,” said Geiger.
Last year, the girl’s varsity basketball team barely had enough players to fill the court, and the larger team has inspired increased optimism.
“This year, we have a full bench of subs, opposed to our last couple of years with a team of seven players,” said senior Haley Bush. “The bigger team really gives us more depth.”
This full team has also improved the quality of practice held by the team.
“I’m so happy that we finally have a full squad. My freshman year we only had 7 varsity players, but now we have 10 and can run scrimmages in practice,” said junior Nicole Compton.
Although the team has ten people, it is sorely missing one key player, senior Breanna Madrazo. Earlier this year, Madrazo re-tore her ACL. Now that Madrazo is out for the season, both Ouye’s as well as Bethel are crucial members of the team.
“The Ouye sisters and Kylie Bethel have been good additions to compensate at the guard positions I used to play at,” said Madrazo.
Madrazo’s physical presence on the court is missed, but she still has a huge impact on the team.
“It was kind of a bummer not playing with Bree,” said Lauren Ouye. “I was expecting to play with her and I really thought she would help us get somewhere. We all want to step up our game to fill her shoes and to win for her.”
New players have integrated themselves well into the team, and love the dynamic between old and young players.
“I don’t have problems asking questions or just talking to them because they’re all so friendly,” said Kelly Ouye.
With the girls’ ambitions to win Prep-League and CIF and the talented new players, the upcoming season looks promising.
“We have a mix of returners and newcomers, so after some practice, I know that we will play perfectly together,” said Lapham.