It’s been an up-and-down season for the Castle View girls basketball team.
The Sabercats started the season with back-to-back losses, then reeled off seven consecutive wins but Castle View is now in the midst of a four-game losing skid.
Coach Matt Hema, however, feels good about the Sabercats chances of posting a second straight winning season.
“Lately we’ve struggled but I think we’re starting to come together again,” Hema said. “If we get consistent, I think we can surprise people. But, it’s going to take us to refocus and get back to playing like we had been playing.
“We have to make things happen. We are not the kind of team that can just show up and win. We’re really going to have to put forth the effort. The one thing about these girls that I don’t have to coach is attitude and effort. They give great effort when they get out there and play.”
Castle View has only one senior, guard Madison Schmidt, on the roster that lists eight juniors and five sophomores.
Hema has played 14 players in varsity games this season.
“We’ve got a junior loaded team,” Hema said. “At the beginning of the year we were just trying to find out what kind of a team we were.
“I like my team. We’re gaining more and more experience and figuring some things out. We’ll be very competitive, how we win and lose will depend on how we play, just like any team.”
Kylie Minish, a 5-foot-5 junior guard, is Castle View’s leading scorer with a 10.5 average. Jess McGovern, a 6-foot junior, is averaging 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds. Maya Brown, a 6-3 junior center, is scoring at a 6.7 clip and pulling down 4.2 rebounds a game.
Junior guard Amy Schmeizer is averaging 2.4 assists and 2.2 steals a game.
“If you look at our stats, we don’t have anybody that’s up in the 16 to 20 point range that a lot of teams have,” said Hema. “We’re a little more balanced in our scoring. We feel like we’re deep and we can play eight or nine girls fairly regularly and sometimes get into our bench as far as 10 players.
Schmidt and McGovern are the team captains.
“Madison is coming off a knee injury,” said Hema. “She’s been a very good leader. She hasn’t started for us but she comes off the bench and provides us with great substitution minutes. She’s been that sixth, seventh man coming off the bench and has really provided a spark.
“Jessie has probably been our best all-around player for the most part. She can score and rebound the ball well. At 6-foot, she’s our toughest player when it comes to defense. She’s prepared to do a lot of dirty work.”
Brown and Minish have also played key roles this season.
“We’ve got good contributions from Maya who is coming back from a knee injury,” said Hema. “She’s done a nice job for us controlling the middle of the paint and getting some blocked shots. As of late, she’s been scoring well too.
“Kylie is coming off shoulder surgery last summer. We’ve had a lot of injuries. She is really kind of getting back in the flow. When she’s 100 percent, she’s really a sparkplug for us.”
Top-ranked Regis ended Castle View’s seven-game winning streak in the Continental League opener for both teams and the Sabercats faced No. 6 Chaparral last Tuesday.
“The games don’t get any easier for us in this league,” said Hema.
“There are a number of top 10 teams in the league.”