by Michelle Brooks | sports editor
Although the style of play and the dynamics for the team is different than last year, the girl’s basketball team is going to use it to their advantage to win games. Their season began on Oct 18 and they have already established their plays.
“You know this year, we’re not a traditional team. We’re very small and very fast so we are 100 percent a fast break team, where as in years past, like last year, we were a fast team but we also could set up and had a decent post game as well as a set up guard game,” head coach Stephanie Desmarais said. “I think this year, we are even faster than we were last year and I’ll probably run a small guard lineup, so not traditional.”
Not only is the team different from last year on the court, but off the court, as well. This year’s team has some qualities that should equal success on court.
“No drama. I wanna say we have more of a team bond than last year, for sure. We don’t really play as individuals; we play as a team this year,” senior Alyssa Williams said.
A closer team bond and more team basketball will help the girls play better against challenging opponents, especially since they will face new, tougher opponents this year.
“We have a tough schedule. In fact, I think this year our schedule is a little tougher than last year’s. We play a similar schedule but one of the tournaments we go to is the McDonald’s, Pasadena tournament and it is probably the most premier tournament that really has about the top 10 to 15 teams in the state every year,” Desmarais said. “So, that’s going to be a challenge for us. That’ll be about 5 to 6 games that we didn’t have last year, that are 5 to 6 challenging games. Then, our other tournaments like the Bowie tournament is a tough one. And then we pretty much have the same preseason schedule as we did last year. It’s a tough schedule.”
As for preparation for these challenging games, Desmarais tries to focus on the skill of each player so that everyone will be able to showcase their talent and make the team as strong as it can be.
“Right now, we’re just trying to gel as a team together. We haven’t done a lot of preparation in terms of scouting for the other teams. Right now, I’m the type of coach that I like to focus on the strengths of my team, so right now, I’m still trying to pull the strings out of each player out of our team as a whole so we can define what kind of team we’re gonna be. But, where we start looking at the other teams , because I know if we do what we do well, we’ll be unbeatable too. I think it’s gonna be a surprise. So I’m excited about that,” Desmarais said.
After losing a few key players, the city of San Antonio expects the team to lose some talent but, the team is only focused on winning.
“You know, I’m sure there is but I’m usually the last to know. I try to stay away from that. I think the general consensus is that we won’t be as good as last year but I’m looking to proving everyone wrong and I’m sure my girls are too,” Desmarais said.
The girls are already prepared to deal with this type of negativity in order to continue with their road to state.
“Our team is special because people call us privileged. Everyone expects us not to be the underdog, but lowkey we are because people are never rooting for Johnson except for Johnson people,” junior Layla Tootill said. “So, I feel like we have to stay together to be where we wanna be. We have such a high expectation compared to other teams unless they’re ranked like Pflugerville and Duncanville.”