Women’s basketball ends on low note

by Reginald Miller
Staff Writer

The season has come to a close for the women’s basketball team. The Leopards wrapped up their season on Monday in front of a packed house at the Supertents.

Seniors Michele Ballard and Michelle Geiger were honored before the game in a senior’s ceremony.

“I think that we are losing two girls who have been examples to the team as far as their work ethic,” said head coach Julie Kline. “They’re going to be winners because of it off the court, and for the rest of their lives.”

Unfortunately, the night that started on such a high note did not end that way, as the Whittier Poets spoiled the night for La Verne, winning 73-56. The loss capped off a 1-9 slump for ULV, a team with nine freshmen on its roster. The Leopards finished the season and 8-17 overall, 2-10 in SCIAC.

In the most recent loss to Whittier, the Leopards held the game close for most of the first half until the closing minutes, when the Poets went on a run, taking a 11-point lead into the locker room.

Taking the floor in the second half, the Leopards put together a brief run, and scored the first six points to pull within five.

“We needed to screen out a little bit better in the second half,” said Kline. “I thought that would help us out in transition because they were trying to slow up the game, and the only way we were going to speed up the game is to get our rebounds and try to move the ball up the floor.”

Unfortunately, the adjustments that were made did not make much of a difference other than a couple of second half scoring bursts by the Leopards, who fell short of victory, 73-56.

“All season we’ve been a great team pressing, when we press,” said assistant coach Richard Reed. “The other teams are always bigger than us, so we decided to press, and we got killed on the boards.”

He added, “The girls gave their best effort, and always give a great effort.”

In a game prior to Monday’s season finale, the La Verne got blown out by the Claremont Athenas on Feb. 18, 71-34. The Leopards are finished in sixth place in SCIAC, and had a bye Wednesday, the last day of scheduled games.

Looking into next year, Kline said, “It’s exciting to have nine freshmen, but we need to get a couple of JC transfers in here hopefully to balance out the freshmen and provide some leadership and some experience. We need to get some people that can put the ball in the basket consistently.”

Reginald Miller

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