Driving for success in new division

The Lady Brahmas feature a young team that specializes in three-pointers and speed.

Despite losing many skilled players to graduation, the Diamond Bar High School girls basketball team hasn’t missed a shot as they adjust to a younger, more skillful team.  

Along with the return of head coach Tony McCabe, who took a break from coaching the team last season, the Brahmas are ready to surpass their accomplishments from last year.

“The freshmen, quite a few of them are very good basketball players, so it’s a really good basketball class and they’re making an impact,” McCabe said.

McCabe intends to come back stronger with the help of assistant coaches Erica Younge and Kylance Malveaux coaching the JV team and returning coach John Martin with the frosh-soph team.

The Lady Brahmas started the season strong with a 74-15 win over Nogales. Senior captain Juliana Callasan led the team with multiple three-pointers along with seniors Karen Shao and Amanda Vasquez, who both left strong impressions.

In their next two games, however, Diamond Bar suffered two consecutive double-digit losses to Northview and Wilson High School. The Lady Brahmas bounced back by winning two of their next three games, defeating the ladies of Bell Gardens 43-33 and South East 40-24. The team has an even 3-3 record  so far in the season.

Noting their teamwork and communication, McCabe praised the team’s performance, especially since Northview was the runner-up state champion last season.

“We got down 32 to seven in the first half and came back strong, but we were still down by quite a bit,” McCabe said. “We actually in the third quarter got down 33 points and cut it [score gap] down to 12, but then they called two fouls and shot 24 free throws.”

Although the team may be filled with a mix of classes, the chemistry among the players is seamless, especially with their clear communication for passing and defense.

“The compliments we’ve gotten are on how the team moves the ball really well and they’re all unselfish; they sometimes even turn down shots,” McCabe said.

Despite their recent move from CIF Southern Section Division 1 to Division 4, McCabe is more than determined to see his team win state championships, hoping to defy the expectation of being an underdog with a younger, less experienced team.

“We’re not the favorite and [we’re] young, so we have a lot to learn, but we have a chance to win league,” McCabe said.

While height is, according to McCabe, the key attribute  the team does not have, its  strengths outweigh the weaknesses. Speed and consistent three-point shooting are at the core of the team’s success this season.

 “The only thing our team is lacking a little bit of height, but we have speed and that’s as good as anything,” McCabe said.

Across the board, the team has averaged around 50 points from three-pointers per game, allowing them to limit their number of fouls while strengthening their offense.

“Everybody’s playing tough and fast,” McCabe said. “That’s how we want to continue playing, so we’re off to a really good start.”

The Lady Brahmas play  next on Dec. 16 against Chino Hills High School.