Women’s basketball adds new talent and a new outlook for this season

The women’s basketball team is looking forward to this year’s new season with a lot of new faces and new talent.

Preseason starts the first week of November and ends in December and conference play starts the first week of January. Their first game was on Saturday against Siskyous and they lost 87-53, but that game did not count towards their conference standing.

“I’m excited to turn the program around,” said Head Coach Coral Sage.

With their different style of play, Sage said she is hoping to make some changes and try to build a more successful team.

Sage also said how optimistic she is with this year’s team being a taller and younger team then in the past few seasons and is hoping it will translate to a conference title.

“It’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds this season,” said Sage.  

Last year the Hawks did not do so well, only winning one game in the season. They were last in the conference and had a problem with players being academically disqualified throughout the season, according to last year’s stats.

Sage said their style of play is being switched up this year from previous years. The Hawks have a lot of height to work with so they are trying to use that to their advantage by playing more half court and at a slower pace. That is a significant difference from last year’s fast paced, shooting style.

Assistant Coach Jennifer Jacobs said that they are focusing more in practice and are hoping to utilize their post player’s  heights and are trying to overcome the challenge of some new talent.

Some players to watch the this season are Brookelyn Larkin, a sophomore point guard, and Arionna Butts, a freshman shooting guard. The team also welcomes two new post players in freshman center Deanna Griffin who stands 6 feet 5 inches and freshman forward Kiara Jones who is 6 feet 1 inch tall.

Brookelyn Larkin, a point guard for the team, said that some has change from last year and that they are looking pretty good for this season.

Larkin is one of few to return from last year’s team after some players were placed on academic probation and were ineligible to play. Coaches this year are making sure that the players are keeping up with their studies this season.

“We’re taking every precautions this year, we are making them do study tables and make sure they are studying together, and also meeting with each player and asking about their classes,” Jacobs said. “This year they are more committed players.”

With their infusion of young talent, the team is looking forward to the season. Freshman shooting guard Arionna Butts said she is excited to try to turn the program around this year and work on creating better teamwork this season.

“I am definitely working on my personal gain and weaknesses also and trying to get used to the different type of players we have on the team,” Buttz said.

Both Buttz and Larkin are also looking forward to playing conference leaders from last year, hoping to redeem the team from last year’s struggles.