Lady Trojan Cagers Look to Make Mark in Gabilan Division


Mireya Reyes

Coming up with a steal, junior Lesly Rodriguez dribbles through the Padre defense en route to a 59-39 victory. “I feel that we all lacked a bit, but we played well, although a bit out of control [but] we got it together and won,” Rodriguez said.

After dealing with the tragedy of losing Coach Richard Solis to cancer last year, the varsity girls’ basketball team had a strong season, finishing 12-9 and making the playoffs, but losing in the first round. Their strong play saw them move from the Mission to the Gabilan Division of the PCAL.

Second year Coach Claudia Moran feels it’s important to build a positive environment where her players are able to make mistakes so that they can work harder to improve themselves and the team.

 “We have a great talented set of girls, really young, but really talented,” Moran said. So far she is content with the teamwork and communication being put in this season and hopes to continue seeing that in her players. 

Returning for her third season, junior Yulissa Alvarez is excited for this year and hopes to improve her confidence on the court as well as scoring. One goal Alvarez has set for herself, like many others on the team, is staying focused and making the playoffs. “Just my teammates and my family, just being hardworking and pushing me to my limit have been my biggest influence, ” Alvarez said. 

Freshman Mia Rivera says “A goal I’ve set for myself is to come out and have a good season with the team and hopefully make it to CCS.” Rivera is excited for what this season has in store for her. Freshman Nayeli Gil-Silva feels her biggest influence is her team and people who support her because they motivate her to push her limits on and off the court. “A skill I want to improve this season is ball handling and becoming a better version of myself,” Silva said. 

The team went 9-2 in the preseason. Junior Lesly Rodriguez, who is one of the scoring leaders averaging about 15 points per game, believes her team will continue to advance and hopefully go to playoffs. “Well, this year we are complementing each other, I think much better than last year because we have more time to work together, so I think that teamwork has been working very well,” she said.  

Through six league games, they are in third place at 3-3, currently four games behind first place Hollister and two game behind North High.

“The strengths are the skills that the girls have and the communication, they work together as a team, the weaknesses are that we have a lot of youngsters, a lot of freshmen,” said Moran “Skill wise they have it, but mentally they’re not ready for varsity level, so that’s my job to train them to get to that point.”