On court leadership: Helping Pumas succeed


Grace Oken dribbles during a recent game.

The  basketball team has had a very successful start to the season and faced many challenging teams this season, which have included a few teams from out of state. Over Christmas break, the team had a tournament in Vegas where they played a couple of challenging teams and won. The Pumas have overcome some challenging setbacks this season. Their team captain, Loryn Harper tore her ACL at a game after trying to make a basket. Junior Grace Oken, who was injured last year came back after much physical work to get to this point.

There are many good players on the team who also have great character and leadership qualities that are necessary for success, both on and off the court. Some of the players led to the region last year, and have shown throughout the season that they are improving as well. Madison Conner was 3rd in the premier region. She came out on top with first in rebounds at 183, and a PPG of 17.7.  Tatyanna Clayburne was 7th in the Premier Region. Clayburne also got 113 assists. Grace Oken and Tatyanna Clayburne were also in the top 10. At the beginning of the year, Coach Andrew Curtis said “Our main thing is just being real consistent in everything we do… every game that they come to we just try to make sure that we are putting out a great effort and that our play is consistent.”

One important part of the team’s success story is their coaches who encourage them to be successful and do what they need to do as an individual and work together as a team. Sophomore guard, Leah Davis said, “Our coaches make sure that we are ready for games by giving us situations in practice.” As the season continues many of the players are hoping that they can maintain their consistency after everything they have worked for this season. “Honestly I need to keep the focus on the court and off the court, even in the classroom, but our coaches do a very good job at keeping us focused.” Grace Oken said. In their recent game against Basha High, the girls dominated with a final score of 69-12. As a team, there were 39 rebounds, 22 assists, and 13 steals as well as a couple of three-pointers and fast breaks by the players. Since the season began, the girls have seen a lot of success because “we do our best daily and do our part individually so that we can succeed as a team.” The next home game is January 28 at 7 p.m.