Girls basketball aims to land playoff spot with remaining league games

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Alya Mehrtash staff writer

Currently in fourth place in Ocean League, the girls varsity basketball team is looking to return to playoffs for the third year in a row.

With two games left in the regular league season, the team holds a 4-4 record, losing three of the past five games. They are set to play against the SAMO Vikings today and the first place Culver City Centaurs on Jan. 31. Both teams defeated the Normans the last time they played against each other.

Sophomore small forward Natasha Melamed has had a positive impression of the team’s performance thus far in the season.

“So far I think our team has been doing a great job,” Melamed said. “Even though like any team, we have faced some tough competition, our team has always pulled together.”

Melamed views coach John Braddell as a strong influence on the girls and on the team’s morale.

“His guidance has been our main strength and has helped the team to bond and perform better than the strength of any single individual,” Melamed said.

While Melamed sees many strengths in this year’s team, she also believes that there is room for improvement when it comes to communication on the court.

“I think our team’s biggest weakness is our communication,” Melamed said. “I think our team is still learning how to communicate better with one another and read what’s happening on the court…This improvement comes with experience and time.”

Senior center Kayla Nourmand feels the same as Melamed, emphasizing the importance of communication during games.

“We excel when [we] communicate and play as a team,” Nourmand said. “Whether it be [in] defense or offense, communication is key to winning games.”

Braddell’s guidance and coaching have been an important factor in the success of the team. With basketball’s quick pace, Melamed feels that using his strategies to change the pace of the game will benefit the team.

“I think our team needs to slow down the game and run through the strategies that are taught during practice by Coach Braddell,” she said.

As the end of league creeps up, Melamed chooses to look ahead at the remaining games rather than dwelling on the past.

“A winning team never looks at the past,” she said.

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