The Lake Oswego varsity girls basketball team has had a rocky ride the past four years, jumping from coach to coach, suffering loss after loss. Different coaching styles and clashing personalities left the team fractured and broken with little hope. Last year, Nya Mason came to Lake Oswego to find the girls team in this sorry state and has worked harder than ever to glue the team back together. “My first year everyone was really welcoming and ex- cited to have some new life in the pro- gram. That support has made it into my second year and has given me more confidence in what I’m doing and happy about what I’ve been building,” said Mason.
At the beginning of this season Mason took the girls on a retreat to Can- non Beach. The girls came back from the retreat closer than they had ever been and ready to test their newfound bond in a game. Before each home game the team has a “Team Dinner” at one of the player’s houses. They are in every sense a family during these dinners, laughing, joking and swapping stories about the day. They have a theme for stories for each day of the week – Minute Mondays, Tough Tuesdays, Wisdom Wednesdays, Thoughtful Thursdays and Fun Fridays. But there is just as much seriousness during these dinners as there is fun, positing different ideas of how to make the night’s game successful and what each player should do to improve their performances while at the same time improve the team. Some of their goals include being more positive, talking more on the court, and remaining level headed in tense situations. “We aren’t afraid to hold each other accountable, and we all give 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time,” senior Ellie Moreland said.
They tipped the season off with wins against Aloha, Newberg and Lakeridge. They then fell into a slump suffering defeats from Tualatin, St. Mary’s, Tigard, Sherwood and West Linn. But even after each loss the girls and their coaches remained supportive and positive. Each loss offers another learning experience for the team. “The teams we’ve been losing to by 1, 2 points this year are the teams that were beating us 20 or 30 last year. I think we’re on a good path we just need to start being a more cohesive unit,” said Mason. This positivity and determination of the team paid off in their most recent face off against Sherwood, defeating them 35 to 32.
The girls rely just as much on the support of others to keep them going. The 5th grade silver youth girls basketball team has supported this team through thick and thin. They bring the varsity team water during the game and cheer on the sidelines just as well as any Lake Oswego cheerleader. The new assistant coaches Jake Weber and Jamie Jones have also worked hard to support the girls in their endeavors, operating under the mantra stay calm and carry on. At the end of the day, the Lake Oswego varsity girls basketball team is here to fight, and they will have the sup- port of the laker community to keep them standing tall.