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Girls' basketball creates frenzy with fans, players

As the girls’ basketball team scored the final point against Tranquility on Feb.8, the crowd went into a frenzy. Fans started the wave ran onto the court to imitate the cheerleaders by performing stunts, and the parent’s started screaming and blowing horns.

As the regular season ended, the girls have proved themselves worthy of a 10-4 record in the West Sierra League and finished in third place.

“This years basketball was very fun because we became a big family,” Tricia Hill, ’03, said. “While the year was great and all, the Modesto tournament was the best.”

Many members of the team agreed with Hill.

“The season has been a lot of fun being able to hangout with fellow classmen,” Sara Wiens,’04, said. “It was difficult for us to step up our game with the loss of one of our better post players, (Jennifer Smit, ’03), but I believe we adjusted well.”

Smit, while playing in the December Modesto Tournament suddenly complained of a sharp pain in her calf muscle being tight. After the game she went to a doctor and was told that the muscle had been sprained.

Smit moved here from Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1995 and she began playing basketball in the fifth grade. She loves the sport very much.

Despite losing Smit for most of the season, the team has performed well.

“I think we are having a really good season,” coach Dan Avila, said. “This is the smartest team I have ever coached. What they don’t have in physical ability, they make up for with brains.”

Even though the girls did not finish first in the West Sierra League, the team has been upbeat all year.

“At the beginning of the season I was nervous about what was going to happen because we lost a lot of key players,” Jennifer Jesser, ’02, said. “Right now I am happy with the way we are playing.”

While the regular season has finished, the girls believe they have played to their potential.

“We beat the teams that we should beat,” Nikki Hill, ’02, said. ” We did not lose to anybody we should not have lost to, that means we played our best.”

During their bus trip to the Feb. 15 against Firebaugh, some players slept during the ride while others loaded up with junk food and candies. A few worked on school assignments. As the end of the season approached, the girls refocused their attention on schoolwork and grades.

“Basketball’s late night games and late practices was a killer because it was hard for me to do homework during the games,” Kristy Howard, ’04, said.

The girls will travel to Coast Union to open their Division 5 playoffs on Feb. 22.

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