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California Lady Pintos basketball enter 2023 with new look

by Evan Holmes | November 16, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

California Lady Pintos basketball has been one of the most consistent athletic programs at California High School. Under the direction of head coach Bobby Sangster, the Lady Pintos won second place in Class 3 basketball in 2018. Last season, the Lady Pintos brought another trophy home when they outplayed the Fair Grove Lady Falcons in overtime to win the Class 4 District 10 title. California would lose to Helias Catholic in the Class 4 Sectionals, but still put together another strong season with a 21-7 record, a win at the California Tournament, and their first district title in five years.

The Lady Pintos return to the court this fall as a much different team from a year ago. With six seniors leaving the team last year, Sangster's team is much younger and will be looking to build team dynamics for the long season ahead of them. However, Sangster said that several of his players have played on recreational and travel basketball teams over the summer. Which could prove to be a beneficial factor for California.

"The girls have put in good time in the weight room and have played on multiple basketball teams over the summer. We always evaluate and change what we do year in and year out to fit the talents of our team. This year was no different," Sangster said. "Lauren Friedrich, Alayna Butts and Ella Percival are the three seniors on this year's team. We will lean on their experience throughout the season. I hope many girls have the opportunity to showcase the work they have done in preparation for this season. As for our schedule, it is never easy. Each year presents a new challenge that we must prepare for."

The new challenge that Sangster and his staff face in the early weeks of the season is adapting a playing system and forming a playbook that will help the players excel on the court. California does have history on their side going into the season, as the Lady Pintos have allowed less than 50 points a game every year since 2009. In order for California's tradition of standout defense and winning to continue, Sangster is looking to continually bring out the best in his players every day in practice and have that brought to the court again on game day. The Lady Pintos might not be the fan favorite in the Tri-County Conference going into the 2023 season, but Sangster says that his team doesn't have to be the favorite to have success. He claims that the Lady Pintos have a few surprises in store for their competition.

"We want to help this team find success, however that is defined for this group. We want to improve every day and have others admire the work we put in," Sangster said. "I think we will surprise some people this year. We lost six great seniors last year, but I think this group will make our community proud."

The Lady Pintos tip-off their season on Saturday, Nov. 19, when they play the Salem Lady Tigers at the Vienna Eagles Shootout at 11 a.m.

Print Headline: California Lady Pintos basketball enter 2023 with new look

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