One thing is for sure this topsy-turvy fall – the women’s basketball team is a lot bigger and a lot better.
Just one month into the season, the Lady Jaguars have surpassed last season’s win total. Better still, they actually have a full team.
A 4-4 November equaled last season’s win total and a December victory pushed it to five. Last year the team had only six players and played the entire season exhausted. This year’s team has a full compliment of 13 players.
Assistant coach Lance Hickman credits early recruiting for the team’s growth.
“We used a whole year to recruit and bring in more players,” he said.
Edward Winslow, a forward on the men’s team, said he was not surprised by the ladies’ success.
“Day in and day out, the girls’ team fights together, win or lose,” he said. “After every game, you know each player gave her all.”
Head coach Janet Eleazar said players have been connecting with one another since the spring, gathering off the court at least once a month.
Captain Tayla Webb, one of two returners from last season, said the team felt like a family.
“We bonded way more than we did last year,” she said. “It is really tight compared to other teams.”
Eleazar said the coaches are still working to understand each player’s skills. She said the team is playing very well, so deciding on a set lineup is difficult.
“The biggest challenges are trying to figure out the substitutions and knowing who’s good at what,” she said. “When it comes to a game it’s really about getting to know them on the court.”
The Lady Jags are scheduled to play in the Coast Classic at Mira Costa College on Dec. 15.