The time has come for another great year of TJ girls’ basketball.
After a 17-7 record in the 2014-2015 basketball season, the Lady Spartans are ready to come out strong this season. They have played in several off season leagues to help them prepare for this year’s regular season. Coach Damion Allen believes that in the past two years, the fall league has been a main factor for the girls’ great start. “We have quite a few ladies who don’t play a fall sport, so they’re able to build team chemistry and work on their game at the same time,” explained Allen.
“We’re going to miss E,” Allen said of 2015 graduate Essence Reece. “You miss a person like that, a young lady with that kind of talent, but we also have enough talent this year to pick up those 20 points and 10 rebounds she left; somebody will pick that up.” Although missing a post player, the Spartans have three returning seniors: Armani Robbins, Avery Carter, and Jenny Jacal. Jacal said, “I will definitely talk more on the court and help my team improve by being a leader and having a positive attitude towards them and winning.” The three seniors believe that if they work together and bring a level of leadership that the girls can follow, they will have a great last year at TJ and an exceptional season. Included with the seniors, junior Adna Adrovic is back after her season ended with a knee injury last year, and sophomores Zoya Robbins, Sydney Thompson, and Ariel Shunneson are all back as well.
Besides the players mentioned above, this season’s team is relatively new. With six sophomores and one freshman, the team is young, but ready to show what they can do and work as hard as it takes to have another successful season. “I’m just looking to see them continue to grow and go in the direction they’re going, but really to work on their positive team culture, and really supporting each other and working towards a common goal and developing that Spartan family,” said Athletic Director Andrew Skari.
As they took on Aurora Central on December 1st, the girls proved that they have a positive team culture. During the first quarter, the score was bounced back and forth until the girls stepped up their defense on the Trojans. At the end of the first the Lady Spartans were up 19-17. Positive feedback was exchanged between the quarters, resulting in a 19-11 run on the Trojans in the 2nd quarter, leaving the Lady Spartans up 38-28 at halftime. The girls did a great job of finishing off the game strong, however they noticed that they have to work on knowing all the plays. They kept their heads through some tough calls and ended up pulling out the win 61-51. They were glad to start off the season with an impressive win and they are hoping to win their first home game on December 3rd against Harrison. The girls have beat Harrison two years in a row, so they are hoping to pull off a win and go 2-0 with their record.