The Student Newspaper of Oxford Academy

The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

Bouncing back with Lady Patriots’ Basketball

Katarina Espinosa
Jump Ball: In a Dec. 3 home game against Pacifica High School, junior Ella Pace jumps for the ball, alongside freshman Mindy Dang, sophomore Ashley Ventura (23), senior Evonne Nguyen (5), and senior captain Elizabeth Kim (11).

It’s girls basketball season again! Throughout their preseason, these Lady Patriots have been practicing extremely hard, and they’re ready to give it their all this winter season. Hopeful with their growth as a team together, girls varsity is prepared to bounce back, hoping to finish 3rd or higher in the 605 league and qualify for CIF playoffs. 

This year’s co-captains, senior Elizabeth Kim and junior Jaelyn Arenzana, are ecstatic to start the season and lead the team.

“I’m feeling pretty optimistic because there’s definitely been a shift in energy and community in the team,” said Kim. “I think that our ability to lift each other up, by cheering [each other] on, will be an asset to us during this upcoming season. I’m really excited to see how far we will go this year.”

Anticipation is in the air as the pre-season comes to a close. Excited to see their hard work since the summer, and newfound growth from last year’s season, they can’t wait until their first game. As co-captain, Kim oversees skill building, and perhaps more importantly, their team building, winning four of their eight games as of Dec. 1.

“I’ve definitely seen growth in every player’s skill, but I think the biggest growth was the chemistry and community within our team. Last year we didn’t trust each other enough, affecting our gameplay negatively. This year, we pass around the ball and have more trust with each other on defense and offense,” Kim said. “So far this season, we’ve proved to ourselves that playing as a team allows us to compete with [other] teams.” 

Their team chemistry is clear. As of Dec. 1, they have a 4-4 record. At the same time last year, they had only won one of their eight matches — their combination of skill building and especially team building will be a key factor throughout the season. 

Being part of a team sport is both exciting and satisfying. These girls have been working hard and growing close together, and it shows. With a team to bond with and many shared goals, connections are easy to make and especially a highlight for this team — like for sophomore Jordan Lemus! 

“​​I have been enjoying getting closer to my team this year, especially with new players such as our freshman, and also witnessing how much potential our team has,” said Lemus.

With high spirits and hopes, these girls will be awaiting their first league — and home — game on Jan. 4 against Pioneer High School. Until then, though, they’ll play a variety of preseason games. Their next games will all be home, with the latest being today, Dec. 15, against Marina High School at 7PM. A game against Mission Viejo will follow on Dec. 17 at 3PM, and a game against Western on Dec. 20 at 7:30PM. 

Whatever direction the rest of the season takes, these Lady Patriots are happy to be back on the courts, playing together, and having a great team experience. From focusing on games, to group talks, and laughing after practice, this season will surely be one they remember.

“Everyone is so supportive and kind,” said sophomore Leah Lee. “I love them all, man.”

About the Contributors
Justin Le, Staff Writer
Justin Le is a current sophomore, beginning his second year on the Gamut staff. His interest in joining the staff came from the popular 2000s television show, Gilmore Girls, one of his personal favorite series. Since one of the protagonists is a member of their respective student-run newspaper, it only made sense for him to follow suit. Additionally, some of Justin's hobbies include binging TV shows, reading from time to time, and joining sports for about a 24-hour period before promptly quitting them. Although Justin may not be very dedicated to his life as a student athlete, he is certainly dedicated to The Gamut, so much so that he sacrificed his year-long pencil pouch for the sake of keeping a stack of GamSlam brochures from blowing away. Justin’s former Word Hunt addiction might also be pretty compelling, considering he has a total of 1858 wins, more than should be humanly possible. In addition, Justin stays involved here at Oxford, as he is SCC’s Activities Commissioner, as well as an active member of VSA, International Club, and ECO. So when he's not writing moving articles about Taylor Swift, he's got a plethora of other activities to choose from.
Mikaela Woo, Staff Writer
Mikaela Woo is a sophomore staff writer who, after a little push from her English teacher, decided to pursue her passion for writing, joining the Gamut back in 2022. She hopes to inform readers through her research and reporting, focusing on topics in A&E and Sports, which align with her deep love for softball, music, and pop culture. Possessing a bold, friendly, and dynamic personality, Mikaela is open to pretty much everyone and not shy about what she likes. She has mixed music tastes, ranging from pop girly-girl vibes to heartbreak country songs, and she often listens to artists such as Taylor Swift, Gracie Abrams, Zach Bryan, and Cody Johnson. Beyond music, readers won't be able to catch her without her phone, Diet Coke, and makeup, notably her mascara. Mikaela also enjoys the vibrant and endearingly campy nostalgia of classic 2000s teen-girl movies and shows like Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, and Gilmore Girls. In the face of a challenge, she remains persistent and resilient, always being able to handle them just in time. Mikaela’s authenticity shines through, especially in her work, so make sure to tune in! It's Mikaela’s era this year, her version.
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Bouncing back with Lady Patriots’ Basketball