The Trinity girls basketball team lost three key contributors from last year’s team, including Taylor Oshiro, who’s now playing at Cal Lutheran.
Knights coach Daniel Hebert is back for a second season, though, which is a commodity the girls basketball team is unfamiliar with.
Hebert was named the program’s fourth coach in as many years last season. Even though he lost the likes of Oshiro, who averaged 19 points, he’s hoping the continuity factor will help fill the gap.
“As a group, we’ll be able to grow together, which is something that wasn’t able to happen in the past,” Hebert said. “When we prepare for games, it’s the same as last year. We also run the same system as last year.
“Everything is coming a bit easier.”
The familiarity has shown early on. The Knights are out to a 4-2 start, including a 61-13 win over Palmdale Aerospace Academy on Tuesday to open Heritage League play.
Trinity is reaping the rewards of more aggressive play from juniors Heidi Schafer and Hannah Caddow.
Schafer had 30 points, five rebounds and five assists in the win. Caddow added 16 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.
“They were both relatively quiet last year, vocally and on the court,” Hebert said. “It got to the point where I had to tell them to take at least 10 shots a game.”
Hebert said the breakthrough came in last year’s CIF-Southern Section Division 5A postseason, in which the Knights advanced to the quarterfinals.
“They were a big reason we got past Lone Pine in the second round, both with their play and their leadership,” Hebert said. “Now, they’re usually putting up 15 shots a game. And they’ve been critical in reminding the girls about our definition of success.”
The Knights added an impact freshman in Riley Spector, who started the team’s first two games at point guard while sophomore Trinity Towns battled an illness. Towns has resumed her role at the point and had seven points, six rebounds and four steals in the win over Palmdale Aerospace Academy.
Junior Ellie Howell is in her first year with the Knights but has already taken over as the team’s center.
“You’d never be able to guess it was her first year,” Hebert said.
Trinity finished third in the Heritage League last season, a game behind SCCS. For as excited as the team is to make a fourth straight trip to the postseason, it has some unfinished business in league play.
The Knights split last year’s season series with SCCS and were swept by the league champions, Faith Baptist.
“There are definitely some games we’re excited for in league,” Hebert said. “We’ve got some good rivalries going that we’re hoping to be on the better end of them this year.”