SPORTS

Basketball team shows promise

Basketball team shows promise

With a strong defense, the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) girls basketball team is hoping for a winning start to the new season.

The team will begin league play on Jan. 14 with a game at Christian High School, but has a busy schedule of games and tournament play in the meantime. The players will seek a repeat performance of last year’s winning 14-7 season despite a heartbreaking loss in last year’s California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division 1 semi-finals against Bonita Vista High School. The team is helmed by James Stewart, head coach and retired U.S. Marine.

“I’m very excited about this year and the possibilities of this team. With an average player height of about 5-9 or 5-10 – we’re not tall but we’re not small either,” Stewart said.

Stewart, in his 12th year of coaching at SRHS, noted the potential of the team beyond this year as the young team consists of three seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen.

“Even though we’re fairly young, we start our program in the summer where we focus on player development. By the time we get to the official start of basketball, we are ready to go – we’re in shape,” he said.

Stewart said the team should be highly competitive this year given the depth of the team’s bench, the ability to score and their remarkable defense. He said some of the players to watch closely are Kayla Williams and Macie Kinne, juniors and All-League players, as well as Amanda Kramer, sophomore. Stewart said Kinne is a very polished player. Williams averaged 14 points a game last season and Kramer averaged seven points a game.

Stewart said one of the greatest strengths of this team is its defense and the players’ ability to work together.

“Since I’ve been at Scripps, we have been a neighborhood team; all of our girls come from Scripps Ranch. It’s very rare that we get girls from outside of Scripps Ranch. This year, with the exception of two girls, every player was born in Scripps. We are a community team, and I  am pretty proud of that. To have the ability to field a team that’s highly competitive from one area is great,” Stewart said.

The girls basketball program has a longstanding tradition of excellence both on and off the court. Stewart said over the course of his 12 years with the program, the players have maintained an average GPA of 3.8, which is a testament to their focus and hard work.

Stewart encouraged the community to come out and cheer on the talented and highly skilled team.

The next game is at home against Westview High School on Dec. 11 with a scheduled 7 p.m. tip-off. Then, the Lady Falcons will play Poway High on Monday, Dec. 16, at home with a 7 p.m. start time.

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