By ELEANOR HANSSLER
Girls Basketball lost all three of their games in the South Coast Classic this past week, a tournament which involved schools from all across Southern California and even featured an Australian team. This was University’s first time competing in the Tournament since the 2016-2017 Season, in which they won their only game, beating Tesoro High School 41-39.
In their first game, taking place last Monday, the team narrowly lost to San Clemente High School 62-67. Their next game, on Tuesday, had a similar outcome, with University losing 63-67 to Box Hill SSC (Senior Secondary College), one of the Australian teams that eventually went on to win the entire tournament. The Trojans third game, played against Huntington Beach High School, was a nail-biter, ending with a score of 37-38. In a Consultation round, however, University beat Yorba Linda High School 63-46.
“We had some tough losses to some good teams,” senior Soha Ali said. “Pinpointing one reason why we lost would not be accurate because there’s many good and bad factors that go into the game. I think we’re just trying to find a groove right now because the skill is definitely there.”
The narrow losses were difficult for the team’s morale, as losing was never a certainty until the very end of the game. However, the team consecutively brought a fighting spirit with them day after day, refusing to admit defeat.
“I feel that the only reason why we lost is because we get in our own heads too much. All of our games were really close… but at the last minute, we would get our heads down. But since then we have been working on it and we are seeing improvements already,” sophomore Elliot Welsh said.
Despite their losses in the tournament, University remains optimistic. With a current season record of 6-3, a return to C.I.F. is still a very real possibility. Last year, Girls Basketball made history by becoming League Champions and making it to the second round of CIF playoffs.
“We lost a couple of close games, but I see that as a chance to learn for the league. We are trying to defend the league title this year and it is going to be tough. We play some tough teams in the preseason so it will be a long road to league [championships], but I think playing better teams is the way to get better” said Girls Basketball Coach Nicole Bradshaw.
Girl’s Basketball’s next game, against Aliso Niguel High School, takes place Friday, December 7, in the Big Gym.