Advantage in the Paint

Eric Hong, Asst. Editorial Editor

This year’s girls varsity basketball team may be younger than ever, but the Lady Brahmas have high expectations for the new season. With some championship JV players and returning multiple-year varsity players, the team is aiming for a league title in the Palomares League, which will definitely be a greater challenge than what it has faced in the previous league.

League play will start on Jan. 9, and the opposing teams include Glendora, Claremont, Bonita, South Hills, and Ayala High School.

Despite having a less experienced team, the Lady Brahmas have been improving under captains junior Destinee Garr, senior Molly McCabe, senior Marissa Quon, and assistant varsity coach Erica Younge.

Under Younge, who has been dealing with the conditioning drill and the individual players’ skills, the team’s average points per game increased to about 50, compared to last year’s score of 33. With junior Kayla Rice, Garr, and freshman Jessica Barrera standing in the paint, rebounding has also increased, according to Head Coach Tony McCabe. The team currently has an overall record of 2-4.

The Lady Brahmas placed third out of 16 teams in the Wilson tournament, which took place Nov. 25-29. They beat El Monte and Walnut 51-25 and 50-40, respectively, and lost to Colony and Ayala 54-52 and 54-48 respectively. On their great performance, sophomore Juliana Gamboa and Garr were selected into the All-Tournament team.

“I think the Palomares League is pretty solid; all of the teams seem to be pretty evenly matched up. Every game is going to be difficult, but I think we have what it takes to win. It’s tougher than it has ever been but I think the results during league will be worth it. Our goal is to be league champs. To achieve this, we have really tightened up our practices and have played in some really big time tournaments,” Molly McCabe said in a Facebook message.

However, being a young team composed mainly of sophomores and juniors also means more mistakes are to be expected, and the turnovers have increased about a third.

Granted, the Lady Brahmas have been going against some of the toughest opposed in the state. Their chances at being on top in the league is going to be a challenge, but they look forward to proving people wrong.

“We are going to keep moving ahead; win-lose, doesn’t matter. We are young, but we are ready for this. We have great leadership in our three captains and Coach Younge, and they’re keeping everyone’s head up,” Coach McCabe said.