Pitman High's varsity girls basketball team is better this year.
Head coach Dustin Curtiss welcomes an athletically talented roster to the books for the coming year after a 2-8 showing in the Central California Conference last season.
Although Golden Valley, last year's CCC champions, are probably the top contenders and favorites to win league once again, don't be surprised if Pitman gives them a run for their money.
Odds are against them but with returners like Whitney Barnes, Kaylin Randhawa and Katie Willett among various others on the roster, there's real hope.
Members of last year's junior varsity team that moved up this year are coming from a winning season where they only lost two games combined for both the freshman and JV level.
“We had a really good group come up from JV, so they have had a lot of success and we are expecting a lot from that group,” said Curtiss. “And really we are just more athletically advanced than we were last year.”
The girls have been working nonstop in the offseason to prepare for this time and so far it seems to be shaping out well for Curtiss and the Pride.
“We are a lot more physically prepared to play right now as well, and that is probably why we look a bit more advanced,” he said.
Helping out the already talented roster will be Michelle Robinson and Alize Tyler, both of whom are seniors heading into their final year.
“I know we have not had much success here at the varsity level for a few years but these seniors of ours might want to get a taste of the playoffs so I think it will drive them,” said Curtiss. “That should definitely push them.”
The Pride could be the surprise of the year but obviously that is still a tossup because in sports anything can happen so consistency and health will prove to be critical.
“Our goal is to make playoffs,” said Curtiss. “Summer is a different ball game but what we saw in the summer is that we played well at times and we look really good at times and hopefully we have expectations and take that and apply it in 32 minutes.”
The first game for the Pride this year will be on the road at Patterson High at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2.
“I just want us to continue to improve,” Curtiss added.