2013 Lady Cardinal basketballl team: (Back row, l-r) Coach Sarah Ruiz, Lupita Ramirez, Lauren Lazos, Elissa Rico, Jessica Toledo, Lizzette Ramirez, Kayla Stockton, Head Coach Mark Blankenship. (Front row, l-r) Felicia Magana, Leilani Lopez, Sarah Blair, Sarah Jordan, Ciara Ramirez.

Girls’ coach credits great team chemistry for League Co-Championship

February 13, 2013

The Lady Cardinals Varsity finished their  regular season  last week on the road beating Malibu.

Overall the record for the season was 15-9 and in the Frontier League 11-1, making them co-League champs for the 2012-2013 season. 

“The Lady Cardinals worked hard all season, said Coach Mark Blankenship. “They spent lots of hours in the gym, working on their game.”

The girls played in the Buena Summer league, where they faced tough competition every single game. Blankenship said “It was a learning experience for all the girls.  They battled, fought, played hard! They also played at UCSB in a tournament to end summer action.”

When season arrived, The Lady Cards found themselves with 10 games in 14 days to start off, going 0-4 at Ventura High tourney. The ladies battled, had some injuries, but played well.  The next six games saw the team going 3-3 leaving a record of 3-7.

The turning point for the varsity girls was playing the Alumni game, which they won, gaining confidence along with it. The first league game was away at rival Fillmore, which the ladies won to start 1-0 in Frontier league play. The next league opponent was Bishop Diego at Home, which they lost by one point, with many chances to win.

The day after Bishop game, they faced Villanova at home, and won, then the next ten league games they won as well, to end season on a 11 game win streak. That included a tough win away at Bishop Diego, and the first win in three years at La Reina.

“Throughout the season the ladies had great balance on the court,” Blankenship said. “All 12 were the stars, not just one! Team was a team!! It was a great season with the first banner in over ten years for the Lady Cards, well deserved. The five seniors, (Lupita Ramirez, Sarah Jordan, Lizzette Ramirez, Elissa Rico, & Ciara Ramirez) got to leave a legacy for the returning players to follow (Felicia Magana, Lauren Lazos, Cyerra Vasquez, Kayla Stockton, Sierra Blair, Leilani Lopez & Jessica Toledo). Great team chemistry was the key to success.”

The girls worked hard all season, six days a week was the norm. Saturday 7 am practices were hard, but they dug deep and pushed threw it.

Blankenship added, “The mind set, passion, determination was there the whole season, and off season, with league Championship to show for it.”

The ladies also finished ranked in the top ten in Division 3A. The team plans on keeping the winning streak going into CIF, looking for that first playoff win in some time.

Blankenship added a special  thanks to all the parents, fans, administrators at SPHS: “Santa Paula girls’ basketball has arrived and has come a long way in the last three years.  We’re looking to continue the winning ways.  GO CARDS!”

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