Archive for Monday, February 27, 2012

Maranatha Academy girls hoops hope momentum carries them past Pleasanton Monday

February 27, 2012

Coming into the season, the Maranatha Academy girls basketball team seemed excited about their chances of moving up the charts of the Class 2A Crossroads Conference.

However, a young Eagles squad beset by injuries has limped to a 7-12 record.

Still, coach Mark Schultze remains happy about how his team performed down the stretch.

“I’m satisfied with the progress. I’m pretty satisfied with how much we’ve grown over the last month,” he said. “We’ve become a better team. We’re competing with some really good teams and we’ve pulled out some wins.”

After going winless in January, the Eagles have stormed back winning three of their last four games entering sub-state play.

“We’ve had quite a bit of adversity. We were 0-for-January,” Schultze said. “That’s tough for any team to go through and we lost some heartbreaking games, and yet these girls have persevered through that and made February a pretty positive month for this team. “

Of all those wins, Schultze said the one he was most proud of was a 40-37 victory against Barstow Academy during the school’s first homecoming game.

The Eagles did suffer some holdups earlier in the year. The team lost freshman Rylee Schultze to a season ending knee injury before Christmas.

Freshman center Devyn Moore was also plagued with a difficult back injury that left her out for most of January.

Despite some setbacks, Maranatha pulled through the difficulties.

“You try to put the pieces together, but I think the girls responded well,” Schultze said.

One player that stood out to Schultze was junior point guard Mollie Chapin-Patch. Her 6.4 points per game put her at the top of offensive contributors.

“She’s picked up more of the scoring load than in the past,” Schultze said.

Junior Brooke Buckner, senior Brittany Espinosa, and freshman Katherine Smith have also been major factors in the Eagles’ lineup.

Along with all the progression of the players has been the improvement in turnovers. At the beginning of the season this proved to be a major difficultly, but Maranatha shown growth in this as well.

Schultze said turnovers were at high twenties and thirties per game at one point, but now they’ve been cut in half.

Now with Maranatha heading to play Pleasanton (11-9) on Monday, the team hopes that it can build on its momentum.

No matter the outcome, Schultze and the staff remain pleased with this group of players.

“It’s just a great group of girls that are coachable and they’re learning how to compete,” he said. “I’m just proud of the girls for not giving up when they easily could have and finishing strong.”


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