By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Sabrina Gonzalez may be the shortest player on the court in any game Port Isabel plays this year. She’s a spark plug, though, on offense and defense, and she took time out from practice this week to talk with the Press about what kind of team she’ll be playing on this season.
“We’re ready–we all know how to play basketball. The basics are nothing new.”
This is the third week of practice for the Lady Tarpons. They played their first scrimmages in Brownsville on Tuesday, and their first game is Friday, November 8, against IDEA Quest/Donna at Tarpon Gym.
The team returns a solid core of experience this season that includes a senior and seven juniors, according to Gonzalez. Ryley Galvan is the lone senior on the team.
“We have good players,” Gonzalez said. “The girls get along well, and I feel like it’s going to be a good season.”
Assistant football coach Kyle DeMoss just came on as the new Varsity girls hoops coach, as a late replacement for the recently departed Tiffany Rubio.
“With Coach DeMoss coming in. we’re probably going to start fresh,” Gonzalez said. “It’s going to be different.”
With all the points that are scored, basketball seems like a much more offensive game than a defensive one. Gonzalez addressed the question of how important defense is in the hard court game.
“We’re going to be strong defensively. You’ve just got to be strong and fast. You’ve got to be smart and be able to move your feet quickly.”
Gonzalez agrees that team chemistry is important and she talked about how it works.
“On the court you need to communicate, and you have to get along as a family, basically,” she said. You have to have good connections with everyone on the court. Whenever someone (criticizes) you, you can’t take it personally. We’re just trying to help each other out.”
And, as an upper-classman, Gonzalez knows that part of her role as a team member is to help the new players along.
“It’s our responsibility to help them get better, so they can have more confidence in themselves. We push them every day.”
Gonzalez is also a force on offense, leading the team in three-point shots last season.
“It’s always the arc, and you have to set your feet. We have pretty good shooters.”
Gonzalez is a good student and her courses for fall semester include Algebra II, World History, Aquatic Science, and English III.
Outside of school, and after her homework is all finished, she sometimes works out on her own.
“Sometimes I go to the park and just work on my shots. And I have a professional trainer in Brownsville.”