The Cougars struggled to score points at times last season.
Coach Art Cardenas hopes that isn’t so much the case this year with a roster he feels is more athletic than last year’s.
“We’re going to have to push the ball up the court, get some girls running lanes and attack the basket,” Cardenas said. “We got a little bit more athletic girls that were on the team last year. The sophomores that were on the team, they’re a year older, they’re little bigger, stronger, a little quicker, a little faster.”
A season ago, the Cougars struggled to a five-win season and missed out on the postseason. And that was with all-region selection Katrina Prendergast, who graduated.
This year, Cardenas said if his squad is to make the leap into the playoffs, it will start on the defensive end but will require improvement on both ends of the court.
“Our defense has to be better,” he said. “And offensively we just have to be disciplined with the basketball in the half court when we can’t get those easy fast breaks. We have to be disciplined with good shot selection.”
Although still young, the Cougs return six players who saw significant minutes a season ago. Ireland Bennett enters off a strong offseason and figures to help fill the void left by Prendergast’s graduation in the post.
“She had a great summer,” Cardenas said. “She’s been doing a great job rebounding and attacking the basket when she gets the ball down low.”
Junior point guard Alysa Domingues also figures to make a jump this season.
Senior forward Halley Morgan and junior forward Kalli Prendergast also return after receiving honorable mention a season ago.
“Right now our goal is just to come together as a team, making sure we’re competing and working hard,” Cardenas said. “We got a lot of girls back from last year’s team with varsity playing experience so we’re more experienced than the year before but we’re still young.”
Morgan and senior guard Tabbatha Reyes are the only seniors on the roster which is also composed of eight juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.
“I’m looking forward to the season,” Cardenas said. “The girls have been energetic, they’ve been positive , they’ve been working hard and I think they’re ready to play.”