Varsity basketball team finishes season of ‘caring,’ ‘friendship’


Photo credit: Jelani Bandele

Team captain Caitlin Chen ’19 shoots the ball from the free throw line. The team won seven games throughout the season.

Archer’s varsity basketball team ended their season with concussions, crutches and friendship. 

While the season officially began in November, members of the varsity basketball team started running drills and playing practice games as early as June.

“We go really hard — we go as hard as we can,” senior Sarah Traenkle said. “If you aren’t working together off the court and becoming more of a family, you’re not going to work [well] on the court.”

The team consists of girls in all upper school grades. A majority of the players were freshmen and sophomores, which sophomore Starr Brown said made for a “rocky” start to the season.

“We had some troubles because it’s a new [and] young team,” freshman Nyah Fernandez said. “I think we overcame ourselves and our fears and we worked as a team, and we got as far as we could.”

The team played a total of 21 games during the season and won seven of those games.

“We want to win league, or at least try to get to the top two, and then make it to CIF and see where we can go from there,” senior and captain Caitlin Chen said in November.

The team did not make it to the playoffs, Fernandez still feels that the players had a “successful” season. The team ended with an 8-20 overall record. 

“We had a lot of injuries,” Fernandez said.”I had a head injury last week, and my teammates came over and asked if I was okay.”

In addition to Fernandez’s injury, sophomores Nadia Charles, Addi Lee, Kaiya Jefferson and Ariel Heimanson suffered injuries during games and practice. However, Fernandez said that the injuries revealed that the team “cares a lot about each other.”

Brown said that one of the challenges during the season was the players being “afraid.”

“People didn’t really have the drive to score,” Brown said. ” I think we have to build the confidence [within our players].” 

A “memorable” moment for the team was a tournament in San Diego, where they traveled and stayed together for multiple games.

“We just bonded so well,” Fernandez said after the tournament. “We realized that we have to communicate in order to succeed in basketball.”