Balancing the offense

GIRL BASKETBALL The team looks to fill the void left by three key seniors.



Senior Jessica Barrera (52) sets up junior Angela Hung (44) on a pick and roll.

Brian Chang, News Editor

Fresh off a third place finish in the Wilson Tournament, Diamond Bar High School girls’ basketball team looks to find its footing before league games begin next semester.

With the loss of last year’s senior captains Juliana Gamboa, Candace Black and Lauryn Del Campo, the Lady Brahmas need to fill major gaps in their offense—Gamboa alone accounted for 20 points per game as the starting point guard.

In their absence, senior starting center Jessica Barrera said every player has become more active on offense. Head coach Tony McCabe said the team has become more balanced in scoring and ball-handling.

Senior forward Sabrina McNally views communication and teamwork as keys to the team’s success. Individually, McNally wants to be a stronger force on the offensive side, as she has focused mostly on defense in the past.

“My expectations for myself is to become more involved in the offense [and] more vocal with the team,” McNally said via Facebook.

“As a senior, I have more responsibility because I have been on varsity for three years. I keep my teammates upbeat and positive as well as demonstrating leadership qualities on and off the court by leading the team in cheering and communicating on the court.”

Senior Jessica Barrera agreed, as she also views communication as vital to the team’s growth. During practice, she and the other seniors on the team encourage their teammates to speak up.

“Communication is definitely one of our weaknesses right now,” Barrera said. “Communication is key to winning the game, and we’ve been doing a lot of drills for that.”

Barrera has also been a leader for the team. As the team’s starting center, she has played a bigger role this season in the team’s offense than in years past and said she tries to keep the team positive on and off the court.

“A leader, what they do is they pick up their team,” Barrera said. “During the games, I’m always telling them, ‘You got this. You’re fine.’ When someone misses a shot they’ll look at me, and I’m like, ‘You’re fine. Just take the next one. Just forget about that one.’”

McCabe has also pushed for teamwork, citing “overall team play, the development of key young players and the leadership of the senior class” as critical.

At the Wilson tournament, the Lady Brahmas defeated the Wilson Wildcats and the San Bernardino Cardinals. However, the team fell 49-44 and 45-29 to the Schurr Spartans and the Rancho Cucamonga Cougars, respectively, to take third.

In their first non-tournament game of the preseason, they lost 59-48 to Valencia High School on Nov. 29. Against the Anaheim Colonists on Dec. 6, the Lady Brahmas were able to tie a deficit of over 20 points in the fourth quarter, though they still dropped the game 69-61. They participated in the San Dimas tournament this week.

“For the preseason, it’s definitely been an uphill climb,” Barrera said. “We’ve been improving drastically. Our struggle at first was last year, we had three main players. Those players led the team, and now it’s a new team. We’re just trying to find how everyone fits in and how we can all contribute to the team.”