Photo by Zema Nasirov

SCDS varsity girls basketball team reflects on last season, hopes to move forward with new team members

As Sacramento Country Day’s girls varsity basketball season has begun, players are excited to get back into the flow of the sport with their teammates. 

Sophomore point guard Ella Martinelli hopes that the team will maintain its strengths in teamwork and defense while they continue improving on skill during games. 

“What I’m most looking forward to this season is getting to know the new girls on the team and being better than last year,” Martinelli said. “I’m hoping that we can get farther this season than we did last season.”

A key highlight of the team’s season last year was the game they played at the Golden 1 Center, home to the Sacramento Kings.

Even though the team lost the game with a score of 34-57, senior shooting guard Imani Cochran saw it as a good display of the team’s synergy. 

“Martinelli put up eight threes, and I think she contributed most of our points,” Cochran said. “I think I got a lot of assists that game.” 

Cochran also wants to put forth her best effort as she begins her last season with the team. 

“I’m not an offensive person, I’m a defensive person,” Cochran said. “I want to change that this year and be good at both.”

Other highlights of last year’s season included games against Buckingham Charter and Cristo Rey, where the Cavs won with scores of 16-8 and 27-26, respectively.

Cochran believes one of the best parts about playing for the team is that every player knows each other’s strengths on the court. 

“It’s like, ‘Alright, you’re good at this. You’re the fast one and you have really good handles. You can guard, you can jump,’” Cochran said. “And we’re able to play to that.” 

As a new player this season, sophomore Claire Gemmell is looking forward to experiencing the community aspect of the team. 

“We have a small team, but the players are really nice,” Gemmell said. “I’m excited to see how the season plays out.” 

Basketball coach Latonia Pitts hopes to expand the team’s roster. 

“We have really low numbers right now, so hopefully we can fill it with a group of girls that just wanna go out, have fun, grow and learn the game,” Pitts said. 

As the season continues, Pitts hopes the team can continue to develop its technical skills. 

“We’ve only had a few practices,” Pitts said. “We just need to work on our understanding of the game and our offense. Something that I’ve definitely seen from the girls so far is hard work, effort and patience.” 

With more new players joining, Martinelli also believes that bringing positivity to practice is especially important.

“Just being that player that’s always like, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you don’t always need to make the shot. What matters is that you tried,’” Martinelli said. “I think that we’ll be better than last year. We can actually shoot pretty well even though we’re only a couple practices in.” 

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