The future of girls basketball at Coast Union High School has been made a bit brighter thanks to the quality of play — including the skills and talent — revealed by the Santa Lucia Middle School basketball team in last week’s tournament at Lewis Middle School in Paso Robles.
Coach Jennifer Lawson — whose genuine enthusiasm, if packaged and distributed worldwide, could create a cessation of hostilities and cultural conundrums — is very proud that her players finished second in a field of eight middle school teams.
The Warriors had played and defeated all seven teams — including Templeton, winner of the tourney — during the season, so Lawson “had a feeling that we would wind up playing Templeton for the championship — if we played our best,” Lawson explained. “And we did.”
Lawson’s most valuable player for the tournament was Ahtziri Mora, who was “amazing on and off the court. She was an all-around player, ball-handler and shooter.”
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The point guard and leader for the Warriors was Fabby Gonzalez, who Lawson refers to as “amazing and really good at calling out the plays.”
Maddie Adams was one of the key players as well. “She could steal a ball and she had amazing hands as far as receiving passes,” Lawson pointed out. And Tara Covell’s defense was “unstoppable,” Lawson explained.
Lawson, a Cal Poly graduate whose daughter is middle school age, is in her second year of volunteer coaching for the Warriors girls team.
“I just have a passion for basketball, but there is something about that age group,” she explains, “I just love being there with them. They’re like sponges, they’re fun, and I glean so much about life from them.”
She added, “These young women are coachable, teachable, and they have so much heart.”