Alya Mehrtash staff writer
The girls basketball season has come to a close at the end of the Ocean League season. The reigning CIF champions failed to make playoffs after two consecutive championship victories in 2017 and 2018.
Coach John Braddell found that the absence of certain players from previous seasons had an impact on the team’s performance. Looking forward, he hopes that the team will continue to improve and eventually be prepared for next season.
“We had some girls transfer in the offseason and then we had another girl transfer mid-season, so it was kind of like, ‘Why is everybody leaving?’” Braddell said. “We lost a lot of kids, but I think like anything else, you’ve got to rebuild, you’ve got to get better, you’ve got to work harder on the skills. We’re going to do that in the summer and in the pre-season, and be ready to go for next year.”
Despite obstacles this season, Braddell found the team’s strength is their attitudes both on and off the court.
“No matter if we were up by 10 or down by 10, they always played hard. They always worked hard. They never got down on each other, so they always had a very good attitude,” he said.
Sophomore Natasha Melamed also enjoys the positive energy among her teammates.
“I’m going to miss the energy of this year’s team. No matter what was put in front of us, our team always maintained the same positive energy,” Melamed said.
Senior Kayla Nourmand felt that the seniors’ last year on the team contributed to many players’ positive attitudes.
“Our team definitely encountered some bumps, but I think we were able to still maintain a positive attitude throughout the season,” Nourmand said. “I think a lot of us were also in the ‘Let’s enjoy our last season’ mentality.”
Each season inevitably comes with some changes, and each has its own takeaways for each player.
“Each year brought its own girls, coaches, plays, games, opportunities, celebrations and challenges, yet each year was a different kind of learning experience,” Nourmand said.
Nourmand has grown immensely since she first became a part of the basketball program and is excited to see what the future holds for herself and her teammates.
“I still can’t believe it’s over. I remember walking onto the court for tryouts the summer before my freshman year literally trembling because I was so nervous and excited…Little did I realize how much the court would come to mean to me over my four years on the team,” she said. “It’s bittersweet because it’s sad that it’s over, but I also am excited to see where my teammates and I end up in the future.”