BASKETBALL: Experienced, dynamic girls varsity team shoots for title





The varsity girls basketball team is looking to make an even bigger splash in the Capital Valley Conference this season after finishing 7-7 in league play and 16-13 overall last year.

The girls made it to the second round of playoffs last year, taking down the Del Oro Eagles in the first round but losing to the Vanden Vikings in the second. Junior guard Haley Loughran expects the team to repeat the success they had last year and possibly go even further.

“Our expectations for this season are to make it past the second round of playoffs and hopefully go to NorCals,” Loughran said.

The team has not changed much from last year – only three seniors were lost due to graduation. However, one of those seniors was shooting guard Havanah Seymour, who led the team in three pointers made and was third on the team in scoring.

Senior center Isabelle Bautista thinks the team will not have trouble filling in the holes that were made by the departure of last year’s seniors.

“We lost Havanah, who was our shooter, so we’re trying to determine who our shooter will be this year,” Bautista said. “The players coming up from JV will help fill in, and I think we’re going to be fine in terms of people filling in spots that have been lost.”

The team will have experience on its side heading into the season as it has eight returning players from last year, including three with two or more full years of varsity basketball under their belts. Coach Josh Errecart anticipate that this will definitely be one of the team’s biggest strengths this year alongside having a very talented group of players.

“We return eight from last year’s roster. The benefit is endless in terms of chemistry and knowing the system and knowing how we do things,” Errecart said. “I think our biggest strength coming back is our athleticism. We bring back a group of girls that is extremely athletic.”


On the other hand, Errecart feels that some of the team’s biggest weaknesses are shooting and scoring. He said that the girls’ defense, passing and movement is great but that they have had some trouble putting the ball in the hoop. This is what the team has been focusing on the most in recent practices to prepare themselves for league competition.

As well as having last year’s players back again, the Tigers also welcome freshman point guard Isabelle Sanders this year. Sanders is the only underclassman on the team but brings years of high level play experience.

She grew up playing basketball in elementary school and played for Cooley Middle School during her seventh and eighth grade years. She said that playing competitive basketball for Next Level AAU has significantly assisted her in adjusting to the speed of the varsity level.

Senior guard Shelbie McKay, the team’s current leading scorer, also began playing on the varsity basketball team as a freshman and she sees a lot of potential in Sanders.

McKay is impressed with Sanders’ quickness with the ball and feels that she has helped improve the girls’ defense.

“We’ve never had guards like her in the past because she’s the fastest girl I’ve ever guarded,” McKay said. “It really helps our defense because we’ve never had to adjust to girls that fast and shifty with the ball.”

According to Errecart, there are many strong aspects of the team and he and the girls are looking forward to see what they can do this year.

“[The team is] kind of a multi-headed monster, if you will,” Errecart said. “We have great point guards, we have great guards and we have great bigs. We’re excited to get going.”