CALIPATRIA — It's been a long season for Head Coach Eddie Vega and the Calipatria Lady Hornets basketball team. Calipatria, which lost four key starters to graduation, has had to endure lackluster play for most of this season. With most of this year's group being comprised of sophomores, it's been challenging to keep this group competitive, but that's not how coach Vega will measure the success of this team.
"Every practice we're coming out and working on fundamentals," said Vega. "I think we're just trying to measure the success we have by the growth we make as a team. Are we learning and improving? So that's what I want to see out of these girls."
After the extended Christmas holiday, the Lady Hornets retuned to Erickson gymnasium where they fell short twice this past week. Tuesday, January 7, they fell to the undefeated Vincent Memorial Scots 51-15.
Senior point guard Alexandria Swift led the Scots with 12 points; one of three players to reach double figures.
"I think for our first game back, we played really well, " said Swift. "We need to improve on our passes and rebounding. We can't lose our focus and turn the ball over, no matter who we play."
Focus is something Head Coach Jesus Gonzalez told his girls never to lose, regardless of the outcome.
"We had a really good team last year and we came up short in the quarterfinals," said Gonzalez. "I told the girls that in order for us to reach our goals, we can't get complacent. We need to get a fast start and play solid defense like I know we can. If we do all these things, there's nothing stopping us from reaching CIF."
The Lady Hornets were back at home Friday, January 10, but endured a similar result, losing to the San Luis Sidewinders 40-5.
Calipatria failed to adapt to San Luis's pressure, resulting in numerous turnovers and limited scoring opportunities. Their lone field goal came late in the third quarter off a Marian Camacho jumper.
"We’re really young this year. The majority of our players on varsity were just freshmen last season. So, it's going to take some time to get them acclimated to the speed and skill on the varsity level."
Calipatria (4-11) will stay home to host Brawley January 14, and Imperial January 17, this week.