by Michelle Brooks & Alexis McCutchan | staff writers

blackmon

photo by Adelin Blackmon (above by Meredith Kershaw)                

A year after making it to the third round of playoffs, a school record, the girl’s basketball team is back on the hardwood court with a goal to come back better.

“Definitely season wise, [we want] an undefeated season and also to win district. We have already won district twice in a row, so three would be cool,” senior Josie Larson said. “[We also want to] go to state most definitely. I think we have a really good chance at going this year.”

Although there may be doubters of the girls’ capability to win, the girls have learned how to cope with the hate or any rumors.

“Yeah, there’s been a little media buzz but we try not to focus on that because that’s just, to me, it’s just a bunch of hype. It’s a matter of outside of that talk, what we do,” head coach Stephanie Desmarais said.

As for interaction between the girls, the team welcomes all people.

“I’m actually on a new team and my teammates are good at basketball and they’re good people,” junior Paloma Mendoza said.

The players who moved up from junior varsity feel that the transition to the higher level is not difficult.

“It’s basically the same, it’s just varsity you have to actually pay attention on varsity. On JV, you can get away with bad passes and stuff but on varsity you’ll get away with it, it’s just you don’t want to do it because you don’t want to be the weakest link,” sophomore Ira Frazier said.

New additions to the team, from both junior varsity and different schools, have made a positive impact on the team.

“I feel this year our varsity, we’ve just worked well together and we got blessed with a whole bunch of good players. We all work together and I just think we’re going to win state,” Frazier said.

When the girls work together, the team is at it’s full potential to go to state, especially since Desmarais prepares them for every game.

“There’s so many different theories. I do a lot of scouting, I do a lot of watching film of other teams but with the girls, I focus on us,” Desmarais said. “So, we do a lot of preparation in terms of how we can get better. Not necessarily in talking about how to beat another team, but how we can be the best team that we can be. Because I definitely believe that if we were playing at our best, we can contend and compete with anyone at the state level. So, I just try to really focus on our strengths and build on those.”

However, before the girls make it to state, they have to focus on the local competition.

“District is something that we like to focus on our opponents that tend to be at the top of our district, like Reagan, Madison, Churchill, this year, Lee. Our district opponents are going to be good teams that we focus on,” Desmarais said. “In the city, we have the whole Judson district are great teams. There is Judson, Wagner, Steele. And then Northside brings it too, so I don’t know.”

The players are anxious for the future and have planned to make it all the way.

“If we win state, I’d be pretty pumped. Don’t we get a ring? I think we get a ring. I’m really looking forward to the ring if we win state. And the victory and being with the team and stuff, that too,” Frazier said.

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About The Author

Michelle Brooks is a senior at Johnson High School and a second year writer for MyJagNews. Her hobbies include playing basketball and eating. Currently, her favorite basketball team is the Cleveland Cavaliers and her favorite basketball player is LBJ. Her favorite WNBA team is the Minnesota Lynx and her favorite WNBA player is Maya Moore.

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