The 2018-19 team entered the Open Division playoffs as the seventh seed, ranked sixth in the county by MaxPreps. The 18 wins against 10 losses in the regular season didn’t come against wallflowers. They came against St. Joseph Notre Dame from the Bay Area (a sizzling 55-51 win), JSerra of Orange County (smashed them 62-43), and Bishop Gorman, a Las Vegas power (a narrow 57-55 loss).
Chang, a 6-foot guard/forward, puts it this way: “Our attitude is key. When games get tough, we communicate. We’ve gotten better at communicating, to make adjustments we need to make.” The senior co-captain averages 11.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block per game.
Delatorre, the other captain, an intense defensive specialist in the backcourt, assesses the team like a human resources expert, which she seems well on her way to being. “We have some really good individual players,” the 5’6” guard says.
“We have some really good freshmen (5’4” guard Angie Robles, with 17.2 points, 3 assists, 3 steals per game, and 5’5” guard Renee Chong, 16.9 points and 3.5 assists a game). As the season has gone on, each of the players has found their niche.”
Complementing the guard core, besides Chang, who at 6 feet can move from backcourt to frontcourt and into the post, is sophomore Jada Davis-Mack, a 6’3” tower inside, pulling down 8.5 rebounds a game. Jada runs the court well, is the fourth scorer with 9.2 points a game, and is developing as a young player into being more of an imposing presence inside.
Delatorre and Chang, the elder stateswomen of the unit, ensure that their teammates have plenty of bonding time off the court. “We make sure we eat lunch together,” says Chang, evincing lots of maturity. “Before every game, we have a team meal provided by one of the moms in (assistant coach/English teacher) Ms. (Michelle) Shea’s classroom. At those, we spend at least two hours together. During that time, we also watch some film to get prepared.”
In a recent practice, Wells ran the scoreboard clock with Shea’s assistance to time free throw practice (“How many did you get out of 10?” “7”, “7”, “7”), three-point shooting (“We need lots of shooting practice”), finally full-court offensive attacks for five-minute chunks with one group of five repeatedly on offense, the other defending.
At last, scrimmaging full-court combined reinforcement of skills, game conditions, and conditioning. Assistant Haseen Williams called out his encouragement and correction.
“I could see going into management and organization,” says Delatorre of her future plans. “The good thing about undergraduate business programs is exposure to finance, marketing, accounting, entrepreneurship, operations.”
“I’m thinking of studying nursing to go into pediatric intensive nursing, or behavioral neuroscience leading to nursing,” says Chang.