Young blood: Girls basketball team shows strength in underclassmen

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Young blood: Girls basketball team shows strength in underclassmen

Freshman Brianna Gonzalez joins senior Courtney Blakely and sophomore Danneli Campbell in trapping a Portage High School defender on Nov. 26 at Bishop Noll.

Freshman Brianna Gonzalez joins senior Courtney Blakely and sophomore Danneli Campbell in trapping a Portage High School defender on Nov. 26 at Bishop Noll.

H.Spruill jr.

Freshman Brianna Gonzalez joins senior Courtney Blakely and sophomore Danneli Campbell in trapping a Portage High School defender on Nov. 26 at Bishop Noll.

H.Spruill jr.

H.Spruill jr.

Freshman Brianna Gonzalez joins senior Courtney Blakely and sophomore Danneli Campbell in trapping a Portage High School defender on Nov. 26 at Bishop Noll.

Ceasar Perez, Staff Reporter

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H.Spruill jr.
Freshman Brianna Gonzalez joins senior Courtney Blakely and sophomore Danneli Campbell in trapping a Portage High School defender on Nov. 26 at Bishop Noll.

Bishop Noll’s girl’s basketball team has a lot to reveal this season knowing that they have a younger team. The varsity roster consists of three freshmen and four sophomores with four upperclassmen returning to starting positions.

   A team this young makes it look like the Lady Warriors are going through a rebuilding year, but really, it’s anything but that. Losing only two players to graduation last year (center Eris Harris and forward Kristian Steele), the core of the 2019 regional semi-finalists was with returning players Makayla Fuentes, Courtney Blakely, and Emily Sutton–all who are filling starting positions this year. A group with this much returning talent is extending the opening positions to a group of seven underclassmen who show much promise. 

    Shooting guard Makayla Fuentes, junior, explained that the freshmen on varsity are reliable to come into the game and continue at the same pace the rest of the team started. She also added that the sophomores should come into the game and still know what’s going on from last year’s experience.

    “I contribute positivity and encouragement to my teammates and try to be as vocal as I can so we are all on one page and are focused on the same goal,” Fuentes said. 

   Fuentes also pointed out that this is the easiest year to connect with the younger players to improve in their game. The team bonds by doing activities together outside of school..    Shooting guard Emily Sutton, senior, mentioned that the underclassmen bring hope to the team because they are low on numbers. She described how well she and the team connected quickly  relationship-wise. 

   “I think I contribute some mental stability to my teammates,” Sutton said. She explains that if everyone has a different mindset nothing will get done. As a leader she expects to keep everyone grounded and level-headed. 

   Last year the girls basketball season was cut short when they lost to Central Noble 51-64 in the regional semifinal, leaving the team devastated. 

   “The only thing cutting or season short was ourselves, we let ourselves and our teammates down with the lack of focus in the game,” said Fuentes. She expressed that she wants to improve on deciding and not the pace of the game. Having four upperclassmen who remember the tough feeling of the ending of their season at regionals helps them work even harder.

   “I would say nothing is standing in our way in securing the regional championship and more.”

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