New plays on the hardwood

GIRLS BASKETBALL First-year head coach Hughes adds new playbook to the experienced team.


Amelie Lee

Junior Karen Shao drives to the basket during the first game of the season against Valencia. DB won the game, 56-25.

Although the Diamond Bar High School girls basketball team had to adjust to a new playbook, they have adapted well and shown some success in the preseason.

“We worked on it this summer and the girls really picked up on it. Since the season has started, they’ve been getting better and better at it and it’s worked out well for us,” head coach Marcus Hughes said.

This is Hughes’s first season as varsity basketball head coach, though he has previously served as a coach for both the JV and freshman teams.

He replaced coach Tony McCabe, who coached girls basketball for a total of 22 years. Hughes’s transition has been eased by assistant coach Erica Younge, who continues to play a major role in helping the team grow and become successful.

“One of the main reasons I took the job was because we have a really good assistant coach… and I knew that as long as I had her, things would be an easy and smooth transition, and it has been because she’s basically like another head coach,” Hughes said.

The Lady Brahmas began the season with a win over Valencia, 56-25.

Senior Angela Hung led the Lady Brahmas with 11 points while  juniors Juliana Callasan and Karen Shao trailed with 10 and 9 points respectively.

However, at the annual Wilson tournament, they fell to Arroyo Valley 84-40 and Rancho Cucamonga 47-43, but defeated  Nogales, 35-17, and Wilson, 57-17.

Hughes has been satisfied with the team’s performance, especially in the close game against Rancho Cucamonga, who they previously had trouble with last season.

“We played Rancho who was a very good team, and with two minutes left we were actually beating them by three, but we ended up losing by four, but I also think it gave our girls a lot of confidence,” Hughes said.

Shao ended the game with 20 points against Rancho Cucamonga, shooting 57 percent from the three-point line with 12 points from beyond the arc.

With an experienced starting lineup that had plenty of playing time last year, both the coaches and players expect to turn around the 1-9 record they had last season in the Palomares League.

The experience at the tournament also gave the team a better idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are.

“One of our strengths is the chemistry we have with each other. Some of us played with or against each other in middle school or we were on the same NJB (National Junior Basketball) team,” senior captain Kayla Hunt said.

According to Hunt, the team has had trouble with communication on defense. However, she said that she expected it to be fixed since they work on it every day at practice.

“I think the girls have been working hard and they’re confident. I expect them to do very well going into league,” Hughes said.

The Lady Brahmas’ next home game is Dec. 14 against South Hills.