Lady Cubs Basketball Gathering Momentum
“The girls are really coming together as a team and are playing great basketball right now,” said head coach Shylo Wantt.
She attributes the team’s upswing at least in part to senior co-captain Shondra Moser’s leadership and performance. “Shondra’s really been getting in her groove and is playing great basketball.” Moser, who scored 20 points in the Lady Cubs’ recent win over Potter Valley and 19 in their 35-28 loss to Rio Lindo Academy not only creates offense for the squad but is a big part of the team’s defensive effort.
We had a chance to catch up with Shondra recently. “From the very first day of practice we’ve been very dedicated and have really stepped it up this year,” she said. After suffering some humiliating losses last year this team was more determined than ever to have a good season. “The season is going really well and if we keep up our positive attitude, we’ll come into league strong.”
Despite a rough travel schedule because of South Fork gym renovations and back to back tournaments, the team has had a chance to bond and has made the most of difficult circumstances. Shondra says that games became their only way to practice when the schedule was tight as well as their only chance to play 5V5 since the team only has 8 players.
As a 3-sport senior in her fourth season of basketball, Moser brings perspective and maturity: “I am just as happy about a good loss as I am about a win. As we go through a lot together, we are coming together more and more as a team.”Moser is also pleased with her team’s ability to be flexible. With a height disadvantage, the Lady Cubs call on the versatility of their players. “Anyone can bring the ball down, and we all have each other’s backs.” She is pleased with how well senior co-captain Noelia Alatorre and sophomore Haylie Mulder man the posts, “and when Noelia is bringing the ball down, I can go and cover the post. We rotate really well.”
This team chemistry is especially evident on defense. “We communicate really well,” said Moser, “and we can switch from a zone defense to man-to-man when it’s needed.”
Coach Wantt is responsive to the players’ assessment of what to work on, and the practices are tailored to give more time to 1V1 play. “She’s been really patient with us this year and we realize she’s pushing us to be our best,” said Moser of Wantt.
Because the team only has four more home games due to constraints on gym use, Moser is hoping for big crowds not just on those home dates but also at nearby away games when “seeing people in the stands helps us so much.”
Of the 3 other teams comprising the Humboldt Del Norte Little Four Conference, both Hoopa Valley and Ferndale have pre-season records similar to South Fork’s and only St. Bernard’s has earned a winning record so far this year. The Cubs beat Ferndale 45-42 in tournament play back on December 3rd so they figure to be in the mix for league success.
With the players communicating well on the court, working hard in practice, and keeping a good attitude on and off the floor, the Lady Cubs promise to put on a good show for the remainder of the 2016-2017 season. Their league opener will be on January 6 at St. Bernard’s, tip-off at 6 p.m. The next home game will be on January 13 against Ferndale. also at 6 p.m.