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Basketball Wilson

Girls’ Basketball Preview: Wilson Bruins

The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.

Things will be both new and familiar for the Wilson girls’ basketball team this season. With the return of head coach Erin Carey after a one-season hiatus, the program is back in trusted hands. After all, Carey’s last full season at the helm was in 2019, when the Bruins went on a historic CIF title run.

Carey accepted the position in August, leaving little time to get the program back up to speed with how she wants it.

“I came back way later than I would have liked, because we really just didn’t get summer at all,” Carey admitted. “It’s different coming in to new faces that I knew, because they were part of the program, but I only have one player that has ever played for me, which is different than just being in the program … So there’s a learning curve, they’re learning me and I’m learning them.”

Senior point guard Laurin Tiangco will be an important leader for the Bruins this season

That one returning player for the Bruins is senior point guard Laurin Tiangco. She might not be big in stature, but her significance as a leader on the floor will be key for Wilson’s success this year.

“She’s going to be big for us,” Carey said of Tiangco. “I’m putting a lot on her shoulders. I’ve also kind of put her in that ‘Captain’ role. I don’t really like that captain title, but I give her a lot of responsibility with the girls and being another voice on the court … I think she’s gonna have a really great senior year.”

Tiangco brings not just experience playing, but experience winning. She was a sophomore on Wilson’s CIF title team and is looking forward to the opportunity to help Coach Carey lead the Bruins in her second stint.

“I’m actually really excited for this season, her coaching just empowers all of us,” said Tiangco of Carey’s return to the bench. “I think we’re all really excited because this looks like a fresh start and we’ve been working really hard … With my team, I want to lead by example, and I have a lot of heart when I play. I just want that passion to be spread around because it’s really fun when we all work together as a team.”

The Bruins will have some size in the frontcourt with 6’1” senior Jade Green, who has the length to compete inside though she hasn’t been able to add much weight and strength to her frame. Carey also likes the potential of incoming transfer Mackenzie Zebro–a volleyball player who came to Wilson from Montana and has great athleticism as a dual-sport athlete.


Sophomore guard Paige Williams didn’t play last season, but has been a breath of fresh air for Carey’s squad. She’s got a free-flowing style of play that reminds her head coach of someone that grew up playing at the park, and she’s got loads of potential as a 10th grader.

Perennial Moore League stalwart Long Beach Poly has a ton of new faces on the roster this year, and the Jackrabbits’ 14-year league unbeaten streak was threatened a season ago. That’s created optimism for some more parity around the league where teams like Wilson feel they’re in a better position to push for a league title in the season ahead. Carey admits her team has struggled with confidence in those matchups with Poly, and is hoping to instill more belief within this group.

“I think it's one of those years where it's really going to come down to who wants it, more than who's stacked,” Carey said. “There's a lot of level playing field this year, which is exciting … I feel like this year is really the year where it could be anyone's game.”

It’s going to be a tricky Moore League schedule for the Bruins as they open up with a road game at Millikan on Dec. 14. Then after winter break, Wilson’s first game of the new year will be at Poly on Jan. 5.

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.