Girls’ basketball shows improvement in rebuilding year February 3, 2024 — by Mitchell Chen and Ariel Zhou Photo by Bryan ZhaoSenior Zinnerah Ahmed rushes forward to score a layout against Mountain View on Jan. 24. Players say their 4-12 record does not accurately represent their effort and skills development this season. While the girls’ basketball team overall record stood at 4-12 as of Jan. 26, many of those losses have been close games, and the team is seeking to close the gap and turn losses into more wins. One of the team’s captains, senior guard Zinnerah Ahmed, said. “There’s been improvement being shown. Our coach and other coaches in the league have noticed.” The girls are one of the top rebounding teams in the El Camino League, but many of the points being scored on them come from layups. Offensively most of their points are not scored from designed plays but through individual skill and talents. The team’s top scorer is junior point guard Urvi Iyer. Recent scores include a 54-41 loss to Mountain View on Jan. 24, a 38-32 win against Cupertino on Jan. 20, a 40-37 loss against Gunn on Jan. 19 and a 32-20 loss to Milpitas on Jan. 17. Returning players have had to adapt to the system of new coach Manny Steffen and new freshman teammates this year. According to Ahmed, this slowed down their development as a team because the Falcons were at a disadvantage in terms of height and team chemistry. Though adjusting to a new coaching style and incorporating new teammates has presented challenges for the team, Ahmed remains optimistic about the progress and improvements the team has made so far. She notes that freshman forward Payton Steffen and Emma Williams have been good additions to the team. “They’re working hard through practices and games, and they’re getting the play time that they deserve,” Ahmed said. Senior co-captain center Priyanka Meduri said the freshmen bring a new dynamic to the team. “The addition of the younger players has brought fresh energy onto the team,” Meduri said. “Their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn has added a new layer to our gameplay.” The recent games, though mostly losses, have served as valuable learning experiences for the Falcons. Meduri highlighted the team’s ability to stay competitive in closely contested matches. She said the team is focusing on incremental improvements, as the team’s determination to bounce back after setbacks pushes them to work harder. “After each game, we come together and improve as a team. I am hopeful the next time we play each team we will have a much better chance of beating them,” Meduri said. Tags: girls basketball 8 views this weekAbout the contributorsMitchell ChenMitchell Chen, Class of '24, is a Backpage Editor for the 2023-2024 staff. He has written many stories on the school's swim and water polo teams. He has also covered stories on awards and events students have won and led, ranging from a San Jose Sharks scholarship to a student-run modeling show.Ariel ZhouAriel Zhou, Class of '24, is an Entertainment Editor for the 23-24 staff. Last year she was a Lifestyles Editor. She's written stories from every section, including stories about the historical atrium, sports beats about field hockey, and "Lovestruck: The Falcon plays matchmaker."