Dribbling into the girls’ basketball season

The girls’ basketball team is ready to take over the season in the new Palomares League. Cassie Martinez, Celine Spathias, Taylor Riggs, Jenna Gonzales and Alyssa Ono will be leading the lady Bearcats as the five returning players. This year, the basketball team has picked up Emily Hertenstein, Stephanie Arredondo, Daryl-lyn Bolton, Bryn De La O, and Briyanna Coleman. The team is stacked with five returning players and five new players from the junior varsity team.

Coach Baumunk explained, “This group of girls is willing to work hard. Coming off the summer league and fall league, we know we will have to grind for every victory, and these girls are willing to grind out to get as many victories as possible.”

After the loss in the last round of CIF last year, the basketball team lost their starting five players. Point guard Nikki Wheatly and power forward Kandace Smith went on to play Division I basketball at UNLV and Ariana Abo went on to Azusa Pacific to play Division II ball.

This season is exciting because Coach Baumunk believes, “The rivalry will go up since we have Glendora and Claremont right next door to us. The games will have more people and the environment will be more fun as a whole.”

The girls are excited to be entering a new league. They have played Glendora and Diamond Bar before in summer and fall tournaments. South Hills and Ayala High School are going to be the biggest competition for the girls this year.

Being a varsity basketball player consists of, “Work hard and are consistent. They need to be able to find a balance between working hard, consistency, and playing with each other. Also how aggressive and well they play on the court,” according to Coach Baumunk.

Ono will be the starting point guard this year. Last year as a freshman, Ono was apart of the varsity basketball team. Her leading role is particularly important because she will be directing the ball up the court. Gonzales and Martinez will be the varsity captains this year. They have the hard-working, consistent, and sportsmanship attitude Coach Baumunk looks for in a leader.

This season will be different from any other season the girls have had. The lady Bearcats cannot wait to dribble into the new league with The Den and parents supporting them along the way.

—Natalie Sanchez