Varsity basketball captain and shooting guard Tyler ’11 weaves up and down the court dribbling the ball with a swift agility. After Kim bounce passes the ball to Miwa ’11 at the top of the key, Miwa swishes the outside shot while the clock winds down, clinching the win over perennial rival Marymount High School on Jan. 18.
The 2010-11 Varsity basketball team went undefeated in the Sunshine League and made it to the second round of CIF playoffs, becoming the first team in Marlborough basketball history to compete post-season in Division 1A, the league’s second most competitive division.
Varsity players began training in August with an intense pre-season regimen. The team conditioned by running, practicing defensive stances, lifting weights and jumping. They also focused on strategy and teamwork by scrimmaging and running through plays.
Center Sara ’12 said that although pre-season was a lot of work, the team was able to bond.
“Pre-season was a time to get to know each other. We really became a family,” Sara said.
The team’s hard work ended up taking them to the playoffs as one of the top three teams in their league. According to Tyler, Coach Trenton Jackson’s determination and high expectations also played a large part in the team’s success.
“One thing he did that helped us in the long run is that he never really settled. There was always something that we as a team and as individuals could have done better,” Tyler said.
After an overall season of 16 wins and nine losses, Tyler, the MVP of the league, led the team with an average of 16.2 points and 3.3 steals per game. Abi ’11 led the team with 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, while Rachel ’13 finished her season with the most assists per game, 1.8.
Sara said that she felt the most memorable moment of the season was at a game against Immaculate Heart, when Tyler fought for possession of a jump ball and grabbed the ball out of the opponent’s hands.
“[Tyler] stole the ball and the other girl fell down. The ref called a foul and everyone went silent in the gym except for the fact that our whole entire bench burst out into laughter. Tyler was just innocently standing there with the ball in her hands saying, ‘I only touched the ball.’” Shewfelt said.
Power forward Lauren ’14, one of only two freshman on the team, said that a lot of the team’s success was due to their good work ethic. They also benefited from Miwa’s and Rachel’s ability to consistently make three point shots and Tyler’s quickness on the court.
“It was always exciting when Miwa or Rach would hit a deep three with only a few seconds left on the clock. Tyler is also our quickest player and a really good shooting guard,” Lauren said.
Tyler said that despite the talent on the team, the players knew that they were in for a challenge when the team rose two divisions this year as a result of past successes. The league’s decision to switch from an enrollment division system to a competitive equity system caused the team to move up from Division 3A to Division 1A.
“I knew that there were a lot of people who thought we wouldn’t win at all, so this was a chance for us to prove them wrong,” Tyler said.
According to some players, the unlikeliness of the team’s playoff win made their success even more exciting. Tyler said that after the win, she was overwhelmed with joy and pride.
“After we won everyone was so excited. We’d accomplished something together that had never been done before. That’s a feeling that can’t even be put into words,” Tyler said.