After winning their third consecutive CIF championship and CIF changing the division rules, the girls’ basketball team has moved up from Division IV to Division I, where they will be playing schools with an enrollment over 1,000 in playoffs.
“Based on our enrollment, we are in Division VI, but based on our success, we moved up to Division V and then Division IV but we were capped. So now we can move, but we have so many points based on our success in CIF, not State, that we have gone all the way up to Division I,” Head Coach Alicia Komaki said.
Since CIF removed the enrollment limit for Division IV, the girls’ basketball team will be competing against major schools with top-notch programs with an enrollment over 1,000 in California. League competition will not change, but when playoffs start, the competition the team will face will become convoluted.
Once the team finishes playoffs in the Open Division, they will go back to Division I for State Championship playoffs. They will be playing against some of the biggest schools in California along with any team in the division that won their first playoff game. In other words, the girls will be playing the best of the best.
“This makes it very hard to win the championship- to win any championship… We are still in contention to win a championship, but a lot of people didn’t think we would be in contention to win a championship. So for us, it is actually a surpassing expectations year, which is good,” Komaki said.
Moving up in divisions makes winning a championship much harder. However, the girls are talented enough to adapt and compete with their new opponents. According to Komaki, she doesn’t feel pressure to win a championship this year because it would be unrealistic, but she has faith in her program to defy the odds.
“Our ultimate goal is just to improve game to game no matter what part of the season it is and we always be wanting to play our best basketball come February,” Komaki said.
The team started their season off strong with an 11-game winning streak and have barely slowed down since. Sophomore Ryann Payne and junior Alexis Griggsby have stepped up as leaders, being the team’s highest scorers
The following gallery photos were taken by Carly Beard on Jan. 12 in Sierra Canyon’s 56-23 win over Crossroads.