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UC High Girls Basketball Team Adjusts to Changes

Kayli Sandoval, News Editor

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It’s kind of a fresh start. We have new plays and new defense. It’s just good to get a little bit of change. So far we’ve done pretty well.”

— Senior Co-Captain Cassidy McCartney

After finishing the season in the second round of CIF last year, and switching from the Western League, the UC High Girls Basketball Team is more motivated than ever to put wins together and get as far as they can.

   The team is still in Division Two and is currently looking like one of the favorites to win the Eastern League. Junior Co-Captain Samantha Staples explained, as they are now in Eastern League, they are playing schools such as Patrick Henry High, Clairemont High, and Morse High. In contrast to last year, they were playing dominant schools such as Cathedral Catholic High and Scripps Ranch High.

   According to a high school statistics site, they are currently 9-11 overall and 3-1 in league. The UC High Girls Basketball Team has impressive defensive stats; both their rebounds and blocks are over the national average. They average 27.8 rebounds per game, for a total of 457. They also get 2.9 blocks per game. They score an average of 41.3 points per game and have a field goal percentage of 29 percent (maxpreps.com).

   Coming into this season, the UC High Girls Basketball Team only had five returning players. This meant that the program would have to bring up many girls from JV and have to learn to be cohesive in order to see successful results for this season. Senior Co-Captain Cassidy McCartney explained, “We lost a lot of seniors so our team is pretty young, but I think we’re going to be really good in years to come. We had to learn to manage the team, because the previous leaders left, so more people had to step up to take on their roles.”

   Staples added that, having lost two starting seniors who had a big impact on the team, this season has been different. According to Staples, this season, the Varsity Team has two new freshmen and brought up a lot of sophomores who were on JV last year in order to fill the spots left open.

   Junior Co-Captain Morgan Wills agreed that this season has been different and explained, “My sister [Madison Wills] graduated, and she was a big part of the team. This year, we have a lot of younger girls. I’m super close with all of them, and we hang out a lot outside of basketball, so we have good chemistry. We trust each other a lot on the court.”

   McCartney added, “We’re all able to work as a team. No one is trying to do anything for themselves. We all want to do what is best for the team as a whole.”

   “We are working hard in practice and trying to bond more as a team. We are doing more team bonding activities. Team chemistry is really important and that is what we’re working on this year. Communication is super important in basketball, so team chemistry helps when we’re on the court, and we need to talk. The game is super fast. We got to know each other and know how each person plays,” explained Staples.

   Apart from many players leaving, another very big difference from last season has been the coaching staff. Last year, PE Teacher Mary Ann McLaughlin was the girls’ head coach; this year it is Math Teacher David Asuncion.

   Asuncion explained the team has adapted well, and is continuing to work hard.

   McCartney talked about the differences, and she said, “It’s a new way of doing things. It’s kind of a fresh start. We have new plays and new defenses. It’s just good to get a little bit of change. So far we’ve done pretty well.”

   Explaining the defensive philosophy and other strategies, Asuncion explained, “Our approach is basic. We’re going to play defense. We’re going to rebound, and we’re going to work hard. Keep the person in front of you. Contain, contest, and control: the three C’s. We like to put our athletes in positions to be successful, so any movement that we make, it’s with a purpose.”

   As any other year, the team’s goals include winning League and getting as far as they can in CIF. In order to achieve those goals, McCartney explained, “We work really hard in practice every day, and we also watch a lot of game film to be able to figure out  how we can improve from our last game.”

“It’s kind of a fresh start. We have new plays and new defense. It’s just good to get a little bit of change. So far we’ve done pretty well.””

— Senior Co-Captain Cassidy McCartney

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UC High Girls Basketball Team Adjusts to Changes