Who’s ready to brag about Pinewood’s 7th basketball state championship? As winter sports kick off, the Pinewood girls and boys varsity basketball teams are preparing for their long season. Last year, the girls won the Division V State Championship against La Jolla Country Day with a whopping score of 60-42, making Pinewood the first school in California to win six state championships according to the San Jose Mercury News. Although losing a key player, Leeana Bade, who now plays on the Sonoma State University womens basketball team, captain Marissa Hing believes this year may be one of the team’s strongest years.

   “Leeana was such a huge offensive threat and we’re going to have to find some way to replace what she could do on the court,” Hing said. “Fortunately, we have Nia [Craig] this year as she was not able to play last year due to transfer rules, and Stella [Kailahi], who is an amazing freshman who is going to contribute greatly to our team this year.”

   According to Hing, the girls make “a very solid team that just knows the game of basketball well.”

   The boys varsity basketball team has advanced into CCS for the past two years, though they have not been able to bring home the state championship trophy. The team is not discouraged, however, and plans to work hard to finally win
that trophy.

   “Much like every year we are underdogs, so we put our hard hats on, go to work, and let our hard work outline things for us,” coach Mani Messi said.

   Like the girls varsity basketball team, the boys team lost two players, Greg Naumann and M.J. Stevens who pulled the team forward. a

   “We lost the toughness and tenacity of Greg plus the leadership of MJ,” Messi said. “Those two guys did leave a blueprint for how it needs to be done, and I expect other players on this year’s roster to pick it up right where they
left off.”

   Despite this loss, Messi seems to have a lot of hope and unconditional faith in the team. With players who are all quick and on their toes, he knows that making a substitution will not throw off the beat of the game; he can easily sub players in and out, preventing them from getting too tired and encouraging them to play with a 120% effort.

   Overall, both the girls and boys varsity basketball teams are all ready to go with the winter season. Both teams are practicing right now, and games begin
in December.