After a shortened 6-8 season last year (6th in district), the varsity basketball team returns for the 2021-2022 with a new look. The newly hired Coach Corey Christiansen is calling the shots now as the team welcomes a new roster, although the majority of the roster is seniors.
“First of all I was very appreciative of all the support from Coach Hirst, Mr. Hernandez, and the rest of the staff here at MacArthur,” Coach Christiansen said. “It meant a lot with everybody supporting me and Coach Sifuentes and getting started for this season.”
There’s a new culture surrounding the team this season, as expected with a new staff.
“We’re really just focusing on the little things, things that may not seem like a big deal to people outside of the program, but they’re a big deal for what we’re trying to do,” Coach Christiansen said.
The team is aiming to go by all of the “UIL rules”, and doing things that may go unnoticed like keeping the locker room clean and hustling off of and onto the floor during practices and games.
“It’s a team first mentality and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Christiansen said. “Everything is team first and that creates the culture of doing all these little things.”
Coach is hoping that the new culture will help translate into wins.
“We have very high expectations,” Christiansen said. “We feel like if we are doing the little things and everybody is buying into the system and the process that the wins are going to take care of themselves.”
The team has their eyes set on one particular game for the moment; the first district match against Churchill.
“The first district game is always big, but I think it will be a very good matchup with Churchill and I am gonna be extremely focused on making sure that we’re ready to get that first win,” Christiansen said.
With more fans officially back this season compared to last season, the team is hoping that home games held at school will have an atmosphere similar to the great atmosphere brought to home volleyball games earlier this school year.
“These [home games] are all varsity games, which is a really cool deal because the JV plays before,” Christiansen said. “The varsity players like watching the JV right before, and then everybody’s in the stands so it’s a great vibe. The idea is if they’re coming to these games, then we’re hoping that they’ll be able to make the drive to Blossom when we do play there.”
The first game of the season was held on the road against John Jay, where the team lost in a back and forth game, 70-56.
“We played well in the first half.,” small forward Jaxon Ledford, junior, said. “We were winning by almost twenty at one point then it was tied at halftime, but then in the second half, we just fell apart, so we gotta get better conditioning and be able to play a complete game. We missed a lot of time at the beginning of the year because of all the stuff that happened, but once everybody came back and we started practicing every day then I feel like it got a lot better, and we’re getting there.”
Senior Jonah Johnson thinks the team started off really well but just lost steam.
“We still hustled, we still almost came back at the end,” shooting guard/small forward Jonah Johnson said.
There’s still a long season ahead, and everyone on the team is looking to make an impact and contribute.
“I’m hoping to just be able to produce when I play and hopefully be able to earn some more playing time and just help the team out.”