Teaming Up For Districts

Aanya Agarwal, Staff Writer

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Picture this; every audience member is on the edge of their seat, and the tension on the court is so thick you can practically feel it suffocating you.

There’s a player standing on the 3-point line, basketball in hand, while the opposing team is closing in on her.

She’s left with a couple options: either take the shot and all the credit that comes with getting the game-changing points, or pass the ball to her teammate who’s much closer to the basket and has a better chance of making it.

What would you choose?

“One time I was open for a three-pointer and instead of taking it, I passed it to a player who had an open layup because layups are high percentage shots,” sophomore point guard Nicole Avila Ambrosi said.

The method of valuing the team’s victory over individual triumph seems to work very well because this year’s varsity girls basketball is the best in MN’s history with a 16-2 record (as of print date). Their secret to success?

“These kids don’t want to let each other down. They truly care about each other,” varsity girls basketball coach David Diehl said. “They would run through a wall for each other.”

Every game, regardless of the win or loss is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow by the team

“We’ve had two losses. At Westside, we learned we need to bring the physical aspect of the game and be on our sharpest every day. At Millard South we learned that we need to bring the mental part of our game,” said Diehl.

If you really want to be successful on court, you need to make time for working on your skills outside of the necessary time for overall team practice.

“You need hard work; you need to practice a lot and actually put in the hours after school and on the weekend, not just working in practice. You need to set your own time and make goals,” Avila-Ambrosi said.

Basketball is a commitment, something whose lessons go beyond the court. Playing alongside others can be challenging, but ultimately it makes you better.

“I’ve played with a lot of different people, and it’s helped me to develop relationships with numerous types of people,” junior shooting guard Lauren West said.

Just because this team is the best in MN Varsity girls basketball history, doesn’t mean they’re invincible. They’ve faced two losses in the season out of 18 games total, both of which have been hard on the team. Because of the losses, the team has honed their skills.

“Any time you lose, it presents opportunity for improvement,” Diehl said. “After each of our losses, we’ve had our best and most focused practices. That’s a credit to the kids and their mindset because they don’t take losing very well.”

This team’s record-breaking 16-2 season is far from over. The team is preparing even harder than ever for districts.

“We focus on getting better on the things we don’t do well with during games and practice. It’s a long season and we need to take it one game at a time. Coaches are creatures of repetitiveness because repetitiveness creates habits and habits create success,” said Diehl

Every player is uniquely necessary to the team’s success, but the one factor that stays consistent is hard work and team

“Give me a team that works hard and works together over a team that’s talented any day,” said Diehl.