After two seasons under head coach David Woods, the Summerville
girls' varsity basketball team feels like it has the personnel and
experience to make an impact on the Mother Lode League this year.
The Bears' 2012-13 squad comprised of five seniors and six
juniors, some who have been playing on varsity since they were freshmen,
is a first for a team that has lacked experience in recent years.
"This is my third year coaching and the first that we've had
all returning players," said Woods. "With the experience we're hoping to
improve over what we did the past couple of seasons. We've been young
in the past, but we don't have that excuse anymore."
Summerville won three games during the 2010-11 season and six
games last year. Woods said the team has set a goal of 12 wins this
season to once again double their previous win total.
"We finally have the numbers, we're starting to build and the program's getting better," he said.
Woods knows the girls well - he's been coaching them since they
were freshmen and sophomores. He said defense will be a top priority
this year given the strengths of the players.
"This year we're going to try and play some really good defense
because we're not always going to score a lot of points," he said. "We
don't have a girl who we can rely on giving us 20 points each night, so
we also need to spread out the scoring responsibilities. That's going to
be the formula for the games that we win."
However, Woods noted that the journey won't be an easy one as the competition in the MLL has been tough for years.
The Calaveras Redskins won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV
title and advanced to the state championships a year ago, where they
lost in the third round. The MLL has sent four teams to the playoffs in
the past five seasons and has been represented in the last three section
championship games at Power Balance Pavilion.
According to Woods, who also serves as the Sac-Joaquin Section
representative, MLL teams were 22-4 in the preseason last year against
Division I and II teams, which is the best non-conference record of any
league in the section.
"It's tough top to bottom," Woods said of the MLL. "You never
have a game off, there are no weak spots and everybody's good. This
isn't just a tough league, I would say it's the toughest small school
league in Northern California."
Bear seniors, like point guard Krysta Calkins, seem up for the challenge.
"I haven't heard much about the other teams this year but we
have a very strong league," she said. "Of course it's going to be
challenging, but we're going to be playing our hearts out because that's
what we do."
Summerville senior Ashley Gamber said, "All of the seniors have
been on varsity for at least three years, so we all know the other
teams pretty well and I think that's going to give us a big advantage."
The Bears, who begin their season at the Hughson Tournament on
Nov. 29, will also have to draw on the team chemistry they've gained
through years of playing together to compete against some of the
league's more powerful teams, said senior Bella Bachtelle.
"I think the keys are for us to score together, work hard and
never get discouraged or give up," she said. "We know that the other
teams are really good, we just have to go out there and give everything