The Cambrian

Girls basketball: Learning about dealing with defeats

O n that brutally turbulent, tempestuous day last week when numerous trees toppled, a large Monterey pine crashed down next to the Lorenz residence on Buckley Drive, crushing a horse trailer. Like many trees in Cambria, the rain-soaked soil and a shallow root system led to the giant tree’s demise.

But when it comes to the Lorenz daughters’ sporting roots —Bronco varsity basketball players Ashley (junior) and Katelyn (sophomore) — their mother, Debbie Lorenz, has made sure those roots were set deep in fruitful soil.

By the time Ashley was in second grade, her mom was coaching youth soccer. At one point in junior high, both girls were playing volleyball on school days, soccer on Saturdays, and on Sunday they attended private basketball lessons given by noted mentor Mike Wazniak in San Luis Obispo.

Today Debbie is an assistant to Bronco varsity Coach Jerry Gibson; she keeps score and tends to needs appropriate for a mom. Both Ashley and Katelyn play volleyball and basketball at Coast Union, and Katelyn plays softball as well.

But the salient question is this: Without the talent that graduated in 2009 (and brought a CIF Championship banner to Coast Union) the Lady Broncos (4-13) are defeated again and again by scores like 13-63, 27-67, 37-80, 19-78 and 19-60.

So how are Lorenz sisters holding up?

“My daughters love the game of basketball. I’ve always taught them to go out there and help their teammates get better. Even against a big challenge like Mission Prep, they can’t wait to get out there,” Debbie made clear.

“Even when you lose by a big score, you can get out there and do things, create things, play hard on the court,” Debbie explained. “I’ve also told them, ‘You never quit. Never quit—never give up. Never let your teammates, or your school down.’” Just to feel a sense of pride, a player “…has to give 100 percent,” she added.

Ashley says, “When I play a game, it’s more about having fun. I’m one of the players who will run to get the ball for the ref. I just love basketball.” Her sister Katelyn said that at the opening of the season she thought the team would do better than it has in fact done.

Indeed, early into the season four players quit—and two were “our best players,” Katelyn points out. That left only eight players and, by the time the Broncos play Mission this week, it will be down to seven players (a team member is going to Europe for three weeks).

Still, win or lose, Debbie Lorenz insists that there are “…always good things happening out there. To a player coming off the court, I say, ‘Did you see the way she cut down there and passed the ball off?’ There’s improvement out there.”

The next game for the girls is at 5 p.m. Feb. 3 at North County Christian.

— John FitzRandolph, special to The Cambrian