Fans of high school girl’s basketball should be ready for an exciting season this year. Denair, Hilmar and Turlock Christian High, in particular, have put together quality teams as they begin their chase for the playoffs.
Of the three teams, TC boasts the most height on their roster. Marley Burton, 6 feet, 2 inches, serves as the Eagles’ centerpiece on offense, using her size and skill to disrupt opposing players and open up teammates, like Hailey Pergman, to score.
Hilmar and Denair, on the other hand, struggle with height and are forced to turn to their quickness and speed to win games.
The Coyotes enter this season with a new head coach who is preparing his girls for a potential playoff run.
“Where trying to be a run and gun team,” head coach Daniel Rodriguez said. “It’s been a while since Denair made playoffs so we’re trying to do that and get as far as we can.”
Denair’s team must work on their defense skills if they plan on making playoffs, specifically their ability to rebound, box out opponents and block shots. For a small team these are essential skills the players must possess in order to find success.
Hilmar has used their speed and experience as a unit to overcome their height disadvantages this season. Last year the Yellowjackets made the playoffs and they believe they can do it again this year with their young team.
“Our team is young but we’re very athletic,” head coach Danny Freitas said. “I think our greatest strength right now is our speed. We’re a fast, athletic bunch.”
Morgan McFadden is a key component in Hilmar’s athletic offense, returning this season at the point guard position.
All three coaches agree that their ultimate goal, a playoff berth, hinges on their teams’ ability to play as a cohesive unit and continue to progress as the season wears on.
“Overall, I think it’s going to be a challenging year,” Rodriguez said. “But we expect to be successful.”
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