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Valley Journals

Building a Basketball Program

Mar 10, 2016 12:09PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

West Valley - Despite a lack of victories, the Cyprus girls and boys basketball programs see the importance of building a program.

“It is built brick by brick,” “Life is more than wins and losses,” “A person who falls and gets back up is much stronger than a person who never fell” and “Let’s keep grinding to get better and better” are all sayings plastered on the teams’ Twitter pages. The players are not giving up.

In their first game of the season, the Pirates boys team defeated Granger 60-56. They trailed heading into the fourth quarter by one point, but sophomore Cody Meza hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points, while Brooks Marshall poured in 20 to help the Pirates rally for the victory. The boys only won two games this season.

The Lady Pirates finished their season with only two victories also. They defeated Rockwell 53-21 and Ben Lomond 33-24. Despite the lack of success, the team kept working hard.

“At times I felt like we could do better, but there were times when we played really hard. We just came up short. We have such a great relationship with each other and love basketball so much,” junior Kylie Williams said.

The 6-foot-1 Marshall led the Pirates boys team in scoring this season. He averaged 14.3 points per game. Senior Lomi Aiolupotea led the girls team with 5.9 points per game. 

“Our coaches tell us they truly believe in us. I think that helps us to get better each day, even if it is practice,” Williams said.

“There is no better feeling than seeing progress. Our team does not quit. We are not like that. We will not give up even after a mistake. We try to come back and fix those mistakes. We play our hearts out. We try to come to practice with a good attitude,” sophomore Josie Garcia said.

The Pirates graduate a total of four seniors; three girls (Aiolupotea, Marissa Fowler and Tessa Skogerboe) and one boy (Thomas Lanktree). Next year they should return several players with varsity experience.

The drought of state tournament appearances is a little longer for the boys team. They have not seen the post-season since 2010, but the girls last appearance was in 2013. 

“I believe we have good teams. If we work hard, we will get good results. This team never quits even when it gets hard,” Williams said.