By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston East girls basketball team has a young roster this winter season and is looking for its first win. The Bolts had an uphill climb last weekend, having to face West Warwick on the road with only seven players dressed due to
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston East girls basketball team has a young roster this winter season and is looking for its first win.
The Bolts had an uphill climb last weekend, having to face West Warwick on the road with only seven players dressed due to the JV team being quarantined. The Wizards won the matchup 49-36.
East faced Mount St. Charles on Monday and fell in a tight, 50-44 decision and faced Pilgrim on Tuesday, but the results were not available at press time.
Kathy Hernandez led East in the loss against West Warwick, scoring 16 points while Chloe Kitterick added seven. Angelina Ortiz led East against Mount, scoring 13 points while Hernandez chipped in nine.
“I was happy that with seven kids we were able to hold our own,” said East coach Jhamal Diggs, who has been trying to give his younger players a chance to get some minutes. “We have Chloe and Angelina returning, but we are still playing a lot of young kids to prepare for the future. I think that this is the perfect time to do that with the shortened season, you don’t know what tomorrow has coming. We’ve just been trying to prepare for the future and trying to get the young players acclimated.”
In Diggs’ second year at the helm, he and his staff are still looking to establish a new environment at East for the long term.
“We are trying to shift the culture. Day by day, game by game, the (upperclassmen) have embraced the leadership role this year and have really been big sisters to the younger girls. We have a good amount of freshmen and sophomores, so (the upperclassmen) have been really good leaders on their way out,” said Diggs, who has zeroed in on improving the teams’ fundamentals. “We want to build on their fundamentals. We play heavy defense, hustle style of basketball, fast pace, aggressive, assertive, and trying to make up for our struggles on offense. I want to see them improve their fundamentals on offense while being a heavy defensive team. Defense wins championships, offense wins games.”
Despite the rocky start, Diggs has seen steady improvement and feels that the team still has a chance to make some noise down the stretch.
“Massive improvements. We try to do a lot of skill work in practice, basic passing and dribbling drills. To learn the game, you have to start from the bottom. The girls in this short amount of time and considering COVID, they’ve made massive improvements,” said Diggs. “We just need to keep working hard and playing tough, and if we can do that, then I still think we will have a chance at making the playoffs.”