January 19, 2012
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RPHS’ girl’s varsity and JV basketball teams kicked the season off with an away tournament on Dec 2. With practices every day, all teams are preparing for the start of league play that began on Jan. 6 against Sandy High School at home.
This year is Putnam’s second in the new 5A Northwest Oregon Conference league, which also consists of Milwaukie, Liberty, Sandy, Parkrose, Wilsonville, St. Helens and Sherwood High Schools.
Looking ahead to this upcoming season, Amy Thomas, second-year varsity coach, said, “I love the kids, they’re an awesome group.” Thomas said. “They all have different personalities. I hope to continue to build in their lives.”
Thomas sees a successful season ahead if the girls stay focused on their goals.
“Our big goal is to win 50 percent of our games this year,” Thomas said.
To build up to those goals, the teams have set up smaller ones. “If we work little by little, we can get there,” she said.
The players know what they need to do to achieve their goals, but also want to have fun in the process. Carly Flemming, sophomore, admits she isn’t just here for the basketball.
“I love to laugh. I’m looking forward to learning new plays, but I’m here to have fun,” Flemming said. “I’m here to win, but basketball is also social, so I’m looking forward to being able to laugh with my team.”
Angel Simpson, post, has played basketball for five years while Amy Volobuev, wing, has just started her first season. They both agree no matter the player’s initial skill level, improvements can be achieved with hard work.
“It’s great to work with people who have as much dedication as you, and who love the game as much as you,” Simpson said.
“When we win, I work hard. When we lose, I work even harder,” Volobuev said.
Challenges proved to be an obstacle in the past years, but with new players and a new season, the coaches are ready to make an improvement. However, Jamie Lyzell, JVII coach, said she has been faced with a new challenge.
“This year my girls have less experience than past years,” Lyzell said. “I’ve never had to go back, and so in depth, into the basics. However, I hope to set myself and the girls up for success, and I’m excited to see the improvement.”
“Last year, we were looked at as the underdogs,” Hannah Ziegler, junior, said. “This year, we want to improve, so we can win, so we can look back and see our success.”
“Being a team means working together, winning together, losing together and facing challenges together,” Anna Rau, Varsity Senior said.
Putnam hosted their first home game against Wilson High School Dec. 9. They swept away the competition with a win of 56-29. The next home game is Jan. 27 against Sherwood High School, in which JV and JVII start at 5:45 p.m., and varsity at 7:15 p.m.