The Marlborough Varsity Basketball team has high hopes for this year’s season. Last year the team was undefeated in the Sunshine League and advanced to the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs. This year there are nine girls on the Varsity team, and one third of the girls on the team are seniors. Eight girls are returning from last year, with the addition of one new freshman.
The girls have been practicing as a team since the end of the summer, participating in basketball drills and conditioning. While the team’s official season lasts from November to February, most of the girls on the Marlborough team are also on club teams. Point guard Clara ’14, for example, practices every day on her own and is a member of The California Storm Basketball Club, a Nike National team.
So far, the Marlborough team has played in only non-league match-ups and has eight wins and four losses. The team’s first league match is on Jan.14, against Notre Dame Academy.
Over Thanksgiving break, the team played in the Palisades Beach Invitational tournament, held at Palisades Charter High School. The team won two out of the four games they played.
Head Coach Shaina Zaidi ’03 was very impressed with the team’s first game against Troy High School in the Palisades Beach Invitational.
“We didn’t win, but the girls competed and we sent a message that Marlborough is a team to watch out for!” Zaidi said.
On Dec.19, the team travelled to Arizona for the Nike Tournament of Champions, where they defeated Perry High School, Green Valley High School, and Bradshaw Christian High School and went on to win the entire tournament.
While the games were going on, Lauren ‘15 noted that, “the energy on the bench was amazing, and that is what got the team going. If there were moments in which the people on the floor weren’t playing to their maximum effort, the bench was always there constantly cheering and keeping the people on the floor positive, confident, and aggressive.”
Lauren believes that “speed and aggression on the court [are] definitely our strength[s] this year.
According to Clara and Zaidi, the team’s biggest in-league opponent is Marymount High School, who the team will play on Jan. 16 at Marymount.
Although this is Zaidi’s first year as head coach of the Varsity team, she is not new to Marlborough basketball. As a student at Marlborough, Zaidi played on the School’s Varsity Basketball team, leading the team to three straight Sunshine League Championships. In 2003, during her senior year, Zaidi and the team advanced onto CIF, where they won the CIF basketball championship for the first time in Marlborough’s history.
Zaidi has a lot of confidence in this year’s Varsity team.
“When the girls play together, play defense, and demonstrate their fast uptempo, it is scary how good they are and is definitely exciting basketball to watch,” Zaidi said.