The Saints varsity girls basketball team had a 9-9 record during their 2018-2019 season, and they are looking to improve on that this upcoming season and end with a winning record.
Head coach Andy Kiltz’s “goals this season are to win more games than we lose and to improve individually as a player and if we do that we will improve as a team.”
The Saints kicked off their season the week of Thanksgiving, hoping to get off to a fast start with their star players, juniors Shannon Nagel and Alivia Pautz.
Nagel said that the biggest factor when it comes to why they will be more successful this year than last year is that the “team worked individually last year, but to improve this year we are working toward an altogether team effort in everything we do.”
She thinks she can help this group by “becoming a team leader and a good example for my teammates in practice and during the games.” The Saints have a lot of potential and are looking to win twice as many games as they did the year before.
Kiltz said that his expectations are “to practice hard, smart and as a team and that should carry over to the game.” He is hoping that his coaching style, including playing a man to man pressure style of defense, will create more offensive opportunities for the girls.
Pautz said that the team is always working and that they can improve on “defense down low on the post since we are not a very big team. We will have to use our feet and be quick to the ball.”
The Saints have plenty of crucial games this year, including an early one against Millennium, one of the top teams in 5A. The Saints will also take on region rivals Desert Mountain and Cactus Shadows throughout December and January.
Key returner and team captain senior Julia Marr said that her role as a captain is to “build up my team even when we are at our worst. I believe that it is my duty to be encouraging and supportive and to guide them to be the best that we can be as a team.”
Marr said she would tell the underclassmen to just try their hardest, never give up, and to keep their heads up in the hardest of times. She said that “by working with the team as a whole, she can hopefully help the players learn and give the team more ideas on different techniques to improve.’
The Saints have struggled at the start of the 2019-20 season, after not winning a game in the Moon Valley High School Feast or Famine Thanksgiving week tournament and losing to both Millennium and Casteel in their first regular season games. The girls got their first win of the season against Campo Verde on December 6th and hope to get another against Barry Goldwater on December 10th.