Communication is key: middle school purple basketball team reflects on season


Photo credit: Archer Communications

Seventh grader Andrea Fuentes passes the basketball to her teammate. The purple team competed against New Roads Jan. 17 and won the game 28-15.

By Meredith Ho, Senior Reporter

The players dribbled the basketball down the court as the crowd cheered on the middle school basketball purple team.

The season came to an end on Feb. 1. after their league semi-finals against Westside Neighborhood School, where they lost 37-35. The game was tied until WNS scored their winning basket in the last three seconds.

The middle school basketball purple team was made up of 13 players ranging from sixth to eighth grade, and their season began in November. The middle school basketball program included a purple team and a green team; the purple team represents Archer during games, and the green team is a practice team.

Their first game of the season was Dec. 7., which ended in a 37-19 loss against Brentwood School’s red team. After that initial loss, however, the team went on to win every game and moved on to the league semi-finals against Westside Neighborhood School.

Sixth-grader Elyse Harris said the team’s communication and chemistry greatly improved after their first game.

“As we’ve been playing and practicing more together, we’ve also gotten better at communication,” Harris said. “When we pass each other the ball, we’re not so afraid to make mistakes because we won’t bring each other down.”

Harris was the only sixth grader on the purple team and has been playing basketball for five years. She said she loves basketball and takes the sport seriously. Harris said her teammates were supportive of her during her first year at Archer and gave her opportunities to work on her skills such as running point guard or being an offensive player.

The team practiced from Monday to Thursday from 3:15-4:45 p.m, but the practice schedule was often impeded by the rainy weather. During practice, the team scrimmaged to help them get used to the pace of the game.

At the end of the day, you know, we’re here to get better we’re here to have a good time. I always tell them, I don’t care so much about the score. What I care about is how you are carrying yourself on the court.

— Coach LeNoir

“When [Coach LeNoir] is giving us information, it doesn’t come off like she’s criticizing us — more like she’s trying to help us see the way she delivers constructive criticism,” Harris said. “It’s very calm, and even if it gets a little more heated, she’ll make sure that it’s in a way that we don’t take it in personally.”

The team had been working on improving their defense. Head Coach LeNoir said the offense team was strong, and the whole team was getting into a rhythm after their first loss.

“The first [game] is always really special because everybody sees exactly what we’re going after and how we need to approach the rest of the season to get that feeling back in the next game,” LeNoir said.

Eighth grader Sheila Micelli said everyone on the team is friends with each other, and she has seen the team grow since she came to Archer in seventh grade.

“My favorite part is probably the games, hanging out and playing with my teammates,” Sheila said. “Also just watching your teammates play and sitting on the bench and cheering your other teammates is really fun. It’s a really friendly community.”

Coach LeNoir said this basketball season was different compared to previous years because everyone knew their positions and how to communicate with each other.

“They’re just a different type of confidence than last year [because] it seems like it was more of a learning curve for a lot of folks,” LeNoir said. “At the end of the day, you know, we’re here to get better we’re here to have a good time. I always tell them, I don’t care so much about the score. What I care about is how you are carrying yourself on the court.”