By Christopher Wong, Chief Editor
Last Friday, January 20th, Kennedy’s women’s basketball teams demolished Hiram Johnson’s team with a score of 57-25. The game was not unusual for team captain Allie Umemoto, one of the team’s two seniors. “It was a game that we just had had to get the job done, nothing too exciting”, she stated in an interview. However, she added that the team had some performance highs for the season, with 18 assists and steals. Nikki Tanaka, a freshman on the team, scored an exciting buzzer beating three-pointer at the end of the first half.
JFK’s varsity team ended the pre-season with a 6-7 record, one win better than last school year. Pre-season helped Coach David Parsh become confident that his team will do well in the Metro League. This season the team has three returning varsity players: Allie Umemoto, Tymiko Patterson, and Johanna Lauderdale. Alongside the returning players, the team has added three energetic and skilled freshmen. Parsh stated “Having the freshman on the team is a fun experience…the improvement that they have shown in the pre-season is extremely encouraging and shows great promise for the future.” Everyone on team and Coach Parsh all have hopes for the rest of the season, believing they have an excellence chance to make post-season. Today, the team hopes to beat the Sacramento High School Dragons. Best of luck to the Kennedy Cougars.
A complete transcript Coach Dave Parsh interview follows below:
CLARION-Summarize the season so far for Kennedy women’s basketball.
PARSH-The varsity ended up with a record of 6 -7 for the preseason – one win better than last year. We played a difficult schedule that included tournaments at Lincoln High School, Oak Ridge High School, and Eastside Prep High School in Palo Alto. We think that the level of our schedule prepares us well for the Metro League. We are currently 2-2 in League play with a 57-25 win last night over Johnson.
CLARION-Who are the best most experienced players on the team?
PARSH-Allie Umemoto, Tymiko Patterson, and Johanna Lauderdale are the 3 returning varsity players. This is the third varsity season for all of them. They are providing excellent leadership for the rest of the team. Umemoto is our point guard, Patterson plays multiple positions, and Lauderdale is a shooting guard.
CLARION-Allie Umemoto has been playing basketball for quite some time for Kennedy. How has it been having her on the team for three years?
PARSH-Having Allie on the team is fantastic!. She is one of the hardest working players that we have had at JFK. She is extremely thoughtful and is able to add new skills and concepts to her game quickly. She is an excellent team captain – like having a coach playing in the game. She is an outstanding athlete and is the heart of our team this season.
CLARION-There are a few freshmen on the varsity team this year. Describe your experience coaching them.
PARSH-Having the freshman on the team is a fun experience. The freshman on the team are Ja’den Mallory, Nikki Tanaka, and Paige Onodera. All three are skillful and athletic basketball players and hard workers. They have been putting in a great deal of effort to improve their skills and their overall knowledge of basketball. The improvement that they have shown in the preseason is extremely encouraging and shows great promise for the future.
CLARION-Why should people play basketball?
PARSH-People should play not only basketball, but any sport at JFK because sports give students a sense of work ethic, time management, and self-discipline that carries on throughout life. What students learn on the practice field goes hand in hand with what their teachers are teaching in the classroom. Sports give students a tremendous connection to their teammates and to the school.
CLARION- How do you believe the rest of the season will go? What do you look forward to as the season nears its end?
PARSH-We will continue to practice to improve our skills and team concepts. We have an excellent chance to make the post season, so that is what we are working towards for the remainder of the season.