The Corcoran High varsity girls’ basketball team has begun preseason play. The Lady Panthers hosted their annual Corcoran basketball Tournament last week. Corcoran hosted the 12-team tournament which concluded on Saturday with the championship round.
Teams playing in this year’s tourney include Coalinga, Mira Monte, Farmersville, CVC, Hanford West, Dinuba, Wasco, Bishop Union, Kingsburg, North Bakersfield and Tulare Union.
This year Corcoran will be led by senior captains Jaquelyn Noble and Imari Russell, who are returning starters at point guard and power forward, respectively.
Other returners include Elena Munoz who will move to the guard spot, Hydee Tapia will play guard, Janette Gonzalez will play at guard and post when needed and Aaliyah Gonzalez who will play either guard spot, according to Head Coach Doug White.
Corcoran finished 15-11 last year and tied for second place in league.
“We are a little bit better in that Imari and Jacquelyn are stronger at their positions. Hydee and Elena are also more experienced and give us more size on the outside,” Coach White said.
New players to the roster include Jackie Fernandez. Fernandez was moved up last year and has been one of Coach White’s hardest workers. He said she will play in the post position. Angelica Romero was also moved up at the end of the last season. She will also play post.
Kaitlyn Romero is a junior guard who is working on becoming a point guard. And Desirae Cantu is a sophomore who will also be working out at point.
Krystal Garcia was also moved up last season and she is working out in the forward position and Sabrina Campos is up from junior varsity and she is a promising post player.
Eileen Nevarez is the only freshman this year and she will play guard.
“A lot will depend on how well Jackie Fernandez, Angelica Romero,
and Sabrina Campos play inside. Janette and Aaliyah did not play a lot last year, but have had year of varsity under their belt,” White commented. “We also have 13 players for the first time in a while. This will help us at practice and in not getting so tired. We will have a bit of bench for the first time in a while. We have a lot of athleticism but are pretty inexperienced.”
Corcoran’s goal is to win league but with lack of experience it will boil down to the team’s belief in themselves, said Coach White.
“Our overall inexperience is a problem. Some of them are struggling learning how to go hard as we need to go. They are hesitating at the wrong times. They don’t trust me when I tell them that I would rather have them go hard and make a mistake than to not go hard,” White noted. “I am not real sure where we will be at the end of the year. It will all depend on how much they believe in themselves. I think we will compete for a league title this year. Our goal is always to win league, win valley, and to qualify for the state play-offs. The success or lack of success of this team will all depend on how much they learn to believe in themselves, their teammates, and their coach.”
After the CHS Tournament, Corcoran will travel to Fresno Dec. 17-20 to compete in the Sunnyside Tourney. They will also make their annual trek to the West Coast Jamboree in Antioch Dec. 27-30.