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Girls' basketball sport shorts: Liberty Tournament (Day Four)

Latest girls’ basketball shorts will be at the top of the section. Scroll down to check out past results. Scrimmages do not count toward win/loss record. Visit the Sports Section for girls’ basketball features.) For a simple overview of scores and upcoming games, check the Winter sport box scores, 2011-12 for dates, opponents and times for all Eagle sports.

Be sure to visit the 2011-12 girls’ basketball schedule, home page, or check out Eagles are currently 0-4 overall and 0-0 in the West Sequoia League as of Dec. 10. The Eagles will next play the Dinuba Emperors, Dec. 15.


The Eagles dropped their fourth straight game at the Liberty Hawk Invitational to the Farmersville Aztecs on the last day of the tournament. And while the game was close throughout, a late push by the Eagles wasn’t enough. The Aztecs defeated FC, by seven points, 44-37.

Farmersville jumped out to a 10-6 lead by the end of the first quarter while swarming defense. Senior captain Nicole Hensley, who had 18 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, and 3 assists, lead the Eagles by scoring 4 points in the first.

The Eagles played the Aztecs even in the second despite some questionable Farmersville illegal screen plays were not called. The half ended with the Aztecs up 16-12. For the Aztecs, junior Jasmine Gomez was a crucial leader on their team, scoring key free throws and finishing the game with 15 points overall.

In the third Farmersville picked up the pace and aggressive play and outscored the Eagles, 16-10, to take a commanding lead into the fourth but the young Eagles showed they have something to prove and equalled their opponents in aggressive play and getting back on defense.

However, a late surge by FC gave the Eagles a 15-12 advantage in the fourth but it was not enough. Captain Hensley was given opportunities to shoot four free throws but the pace slowed and tempo waned and FC fell short in the final game of the tournament for both teams. Farmersville was led by Vanessa Santos’ 24 points.

According to freshman Hollie Tucker, who had 5 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals, she enjoyed playing in a fast pace game. Although she was exhausted towards the end, the tight scores motivated her to push herself.

“It was great playing an intense game,” Tucker said. “I loved the speed and I could feel adrenaline flowing through my body. When the scores got really close, it made me want to work harder and run faster. Even though we lost this game, I know for a fact that we are gonna beat them in league. I am determined to do anything to make sure it happens.”

Captain Hensley says that she is proud of her teammates for giving full effort and making improvements. She also says that they would have won if more time was given.

“I am glad that we were close in score with this team,” Hensley said. “I am disappointed that we ran out of time because we definitely had a chance to beat this team. I think we did awesome though. We gave good effort and executed our offense and defense really well. I am proud of the improvements we are making with rebounding. Overall, we did great and could not be more proud of my team.”

Head coach Santino Reynolds says that his players learned a lot amount of useful information from the tournament. They will take the skills learned to next weekends tournament. He is fond of the players for playing for four days straight.

“I think this was a tough stretch of games to play over four consecutive days,” Reynolds said. “It was great for the team to see how tough it is to play for games in a row. We made a lot of improvements and with a solid week of practice, the team will be ready for the Farmersville Tournament next week.”

Assistant coach Michele Graham believes that the team is ready to compete in league.

“Today we had great momentum,” Graham said. “We had stretches of really good plays. Overall we played really well together and I cannot wait to see how they will do in league.”

The Eagles will next play the
Dinuba Emperors, Dec. 15.

After losing two games in a row, the Eagles were determined to fight back and played with higher intensity against the Laton Mustangs. However, after a 12-2 run in the second quarter, the Mustangs held on and defeated the Eagles, 35-23, in the Liberty Hawk Invitational, Dec. 9.

Both teams seemed tight in the first quarter. Senior captain Brandi Thompson, who had 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 assists, in the game, scored at 4 points, but Laton lead 6-4.

The second quarter was all Mustangs as they amped up their physical game. This seemed to create confusion for the Eagles and as a result, Mustangs were able to score inside to take a commanding lead, 18-6, at the half.

After the half time, the Eagles assistant coach Jim White and the FC staff helped the young team to settle down for the third and fourth quarters. The teams traded baskets and chances throughout the remainder of the game. The young Eagle team seemed to learn from what White told them and applied it directly on the court, changing their approach to their opponent.

According to White, it was an enjoyable experience to watch the team compete and never give up. As a coach, he says he will always have faith in the players.

“It is exciting to watch the team compete and push themselves,” White said. “I am always optimistic that my team can come back and possibly win. It has been a tradition for Fresno Christian Lady Eagles to always play hard and never give up. Win or lose, I can be proud that my players did their very best.”

Sophomore Hannah Avila scored 4 points scored her first points of the three-day tournament. She also had 5 rebounds during the course of the game. She says that making shots boosted her self confidence enormously.

“I think we are improving greatly,” Avila said. “We played hard and put a lot of effort in. I think this was our best game for sure. And making my first basket helped give me confidence in my playing abilities. I hope to continue to improve as the season goes on.”

Sophomore Rayna Endicott, who had 2 rebounds and 2 assists says that playing a close match was a nerve racking experience. Despite being nervous, she learned countless lessons from the game.

“I was really nervous because I knew that every point counted,” Endicott said. “But In this game, I learned how to adjust to different plays and got used to the system. Also, we became more of a team after playing three games because we found out each others’ strengths and weaknesses so we can help each other on and off the court.”

Assistant coach Michele Graham says that it is crucial for the players to pay attention and comprehend her instructions. Asking questions can be a momentous part of playing basketball.

“Sometimes, I tell players something and they do the exact opposite,” Graham said. “I hope this does not happen again because if I give them constructive criticism and they don’t understand, they need to come to me and ask questions. If they are willing to listen, their skills will improve so much.”

In the fourth quarter, captain Thompson fouled out of the game. According to head coach Santino Reynolds, playing without Thompson was difficult but it gave other players opportunity to participate and get extra playing time.

“It was tough losing Brandi because she is a great leader on the floor,” Reynolds said. “On the other hand, we prepared to make sure everyone can contribute.”

Dawn Alves led the Mustang offense while Nicole Hensley added 4 points to round out the Eagle scoring.

FC will next play Farmersville at noon, Dec. 10, to close out the tournament. For a simple overview of scores and upcoming games, check the Winter sport box scores, 2011-12 for dates, opponents and times for all Eagle sports.

After losing the first game against Central Catholic, the Eagles got back up and played against the Kingsburg Vikings. Although FC was not able to defeat the Vikings, they were able to close the scoring gap, but still lost, 49-21, Dec. 8.

The Eagles had difficulties rebounding during the first two quarters. This made it almost impossible for them to score. But after taking advice from head coach Santino Reynolds during half time, they stepped up their game. Seniors Brandi Thompson led FC with 8 rebounds, and Nicole Hensley with 6.

Besides rebounding, the Eagles also struggled in offensive plays, which seemed to cause confusion on the court.

According to sophomore Hannah Avila, who had 5 rebounds and 1 assist, the team needs to work on communication skills and help each other out on the court. As an individual, she needs to learn how to control the ball and find ways to shoot more efficiently, she says.

“I thought tonight’s game went well,” Avila said. “I personally need to work on keeping my hands high, rebounding, and learn on ball control. And as a team, talking is really important because we hardly ever talked to each other the past two scrimmages. I am proud of our team though, because even though this is the first year we are all playing together, we are getting along pretty well.”

Freshman Hollie Tucker, who had 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals, says playing is not about winning or losing but having the right attitude.

“Our team worked hard tonight and fought until the very end,” Tucker said. “Even though it was a loss, we kept our heads high. We just need to stop thinking so much while we are playing and just focus on the game and have positive attitudes. I have a deep passion for the game and having a good mind set means more then the numbers on the score board.”

Captain Thompson, lead the Eagles with 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists; she says that the size of the girls on the opposing team played a huge role during this game. She also says that as a captain, she will lead the younger players by encouraging them and help them when they struggle.

“I thought we played hard,” Thompson said. “But there were some girls that were bigger and taller then us from the other team so we could not really help that. But we need to work on not being so robotic because then, other teams will know our plays. As a captain, I need to let them know they are doing good so they do not get own on themselves.”

Assistant coach Jim White agrees with Thompson and said that playing with stronger and bigger players wore the Eagles out. The players were also tired from the game against Central Catholic so getting plenty of rest and eating balanced meals will help the team tremendously.

“Tonight, we played a team that pressed us and had a lot of height. This caused us to use a lot of energy and gave us trouble rebounding. We also looked a little fatigued from the night before. But compared to the previous game, we did a better job of driving the basket and playing defense tonight.?

The Eagles continue play in the Liberty Hawk Invitational against the Laton Mustangs, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.

Please return to The Feather for more updates on the tournament as they become available.

The girls basketball team opened their season at the Liberty Hawk Invitational against Central Catholic of Modesto, Dec. 7. However, the Eagles were outmatched and lost to the Raiders, 63-26.

According to head coach Santino Reynolds, although the team lost the first official tournament, he is proud of the team due to improvement from the previous scrimmage. He praises sophomore Hannah Avila for being an outstanding defender.

“I think we did a great job competing and moving in the right direction for the season,” Reynolds said. “The highlight of the game was Brandi’s execution with our dribble drive offense for a left handed lay up. I also thought Hannah Avila was excellent defending in the post for out zone defense.”

Assistant coach Jim White says that he is glad that the girls tried their best and never gave up despite playing a good team. Since the league games do not start until January, the team can learn from the mistakes made in scrimmages.

“As a coach, I am very proud of the effort put fourth tonight,” White said. “We faced a very good team in Central Catholic. As always, we need to keep getting better. We have been blessed with a great group of young ladies, and we are looking forward to the season ahead.”

Sophomore Viviana Hinojosa, who had 6 rebounds and 2 assist says that the game against Central Catholic was a great learning experience. But the players on the team needs to go harder and faster. Executing the plays better will benefit the team as well.

“Even when we are very tired during third and fourth quoters, we need to push ourselves,” Hinojosa said. “We need to sprint and move fast no matter how exhausted we are. But besides that, I was shocked at how good we were. We scored 26 points tonight and that’s better than what we scored as a JV team all last year. We just need to review our plays and get a better handle on the ball.”

Sophomore Sarah Lim says that she is thankful for the captains that the team has. Both Brandi Thompson and Nicole Hensley encourages the team constantly and provide guidance to the team no matter what the scores are.

“I am truly blessed that I even get to play on the same team with Nicole and Brandi,” Lim said. “They worked so hard for years coming up to this point and even when we mess up, they are understandable and they always teach us what we are doing wrong so we don’t do it again. Our team would not have improved so much if we didn’t have such great leaders.”

Senior captain Nicole Hensley, who had 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists, says that the team has numerous areas they need to work on.

“We need to throw ourselves in the game,” Hensley said. “We had no idea what we were doing during the game. We were still learning our plays so we did not have good offense and defense. We just need to get better at everything including free throws, being more aggressive, learning plays.”

The Eagles continue play in the Liberty Hawk Invitational against the Kingsburg Vikings, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. Please return to The Feather for more updates on the tournament as they become available.

For more information on last year’s varsity girls basketball team, check out the Girls’ basketball sport shorts, 2010-11, Part I and Part II.

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    michael ogdonJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    These kids are the advanced wind instrument players. Our percussion players and flag teams have a separate rehearsal time, and we’re also joined by our basic band when we march in events.