Sports

The Making of a Machine

For a tiny school in a decidedly suburban area, Pinewood’s girls basketball team is nothing short of extraordinary. Six time state champions, nine-time Norcal champions, and 13 time CCS champions, these girls have achieved the incredible, and have far surpassed the expectations for a team from a high school with little more than two hundred students. But how has this team been able to be so good for so long? Their legacy is due in large part to head coach Doc Scheppler, who has been with Pinewood since 1995. Scheppler’s reputation as a stellar coach enables him to draw in star talent from all around and maintain the high caliber required of such a high level team.

“The success and reputation of the program attract interest from basketball players that want to be a part of something special,” said Scheppler.

When describing what exactly makes his team so special, Scheppler made sure to give credit to the team newbies as well as the more experienced upperclassmen.

“All of our freshman have done a wonderful job in buying into our standards and have improved greatly this year. We will see some great play from them in the years ahead,”

Scheppler said.

He also admired the outstanding qualities of this year’s group of upperclassmen, which consists of seniors Isabel Chung and Trinity Copeland, as well as Stanford-committed Hannah Jump, Yale-committed Klara Astrom, and Pomona-committed Kaitlyn Leung. Scheppler has greatly appreciated their “hard work, selflessness, coachability, self motivation, athletic talent, and love of the game,” and added that these qualities are exactly what he looks for in a player.

Another core piece of what makes Pinewood girls basketball so exceptional is their emphasis on the fundamentals.     

“Our style of play is founded on great shooting, and the ability to create those shots during games,” said Scheppler. “This particular style of play puts us in a position to compete at the highest level.”

As the Panthers enter the excitement of post-season playoffs, the team’s innovative style of play, coupled with its talented, dedicated, and ambitious members, will surely set Pinewood apart from the rest of the pack and make the difference between something average and something truly exceptional.

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