Last year was a highwater mark for Long Beach girls’ basketball, with Poly, Millikan, and Wilson all notching 25 wins or more. The Jackrabbits once again holding onto the Moore League title, but the Rams and Bruins both had great seasons, including Wilson winning its first CIF-SS title in the sport in 20 years.
This year promises to be the most competitive Moore League schedule in a decade-plus, while St. Anthony is welcoming in one of the top freshmen in the state.
St. Anthony has been a program on the rise under coach Ray Bennett, and they look poised to take another step forward this year after a 19-11 season last year.
“We were unable to use our gym until about two weeks ago, so we’ve had to fast-track conditioning, weight training, and gym work to prepare,” said Bennett. “We’re super excited to have a season, and we’re all more appreciate of the opportunity to play and coach the game we love.”
The Saints’ senior leaders are Meghan McIntyre, a guard, and Los Al transfer Sumya Evans, a post. The team also features two returning juniors in Alahnie Tunu and Bridgette McIntyre, as well as Ryann Bennett, one of the top-ranked freshmen in the state.
Eric Oswell is replacing the best class he’s ever had at Lakewood, and will do so with an almost entirely new roster. Senior Delihla Magana is the only returner from last year, with junior Samaria Usher and freshmen Natalia Apacible and Christina Jones set to step in.
“Every game will be a learning experience,” he said. “During a normal offseason we would have played 40+ games to learn how to play with each other. With only one returning varsity player, those offseason games lost to the pandemic will now happen in the regular season.”