Beginning the year with eight freshmen and two sophomores, the Pierce College Raiders Women’s Basketball team has had a tough start, but Coach Brian Purugganan remains optimistic.
“We have the capability, we have the talent,” Purugganan said.
He said the team’s chances of making it to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Championship depends on utilizing that talent.
The season has had four wins out of their 14 games.
“We lost some very winnable games,” Purugganan said of the pre-season games.
Purugganan noted that some of the team’s losses are the product of many freshmen players who are still getting used to college level games.
“It’s hard to get consistency with them,” Purugganan said.
Purugganan said the difference between high school and college basketball games is a large transition that the majority of the team has been making. Instead of high school games, which are divided into eight or 10 minute quarters, college basketball divides the game into 20 minute halves.
“You have to play 40 minutes of solid defense,” Purugganan said.
Offense hasn’t been a problem for the team, averaging 64 points a game. Purugganan said the team has to perform optimal defense against other high-scoring teams.
The peformance of returning sophomore Alyssa Simonson is a notable achievement. Simonson ranks fourth in steals, and third in assists in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College Stats.
Every upcoming game is important in their path to the NWAACC Championship, and, according to Purugganan, the team can’t take any game lightly.
The coach, however, said he only sees an uphill road for his team. Purugganan said he remains optimistic about his team’s abilities, despite some of the players inexperience in college level basketball.
“When the light switch turns on we’ll have one heck of a team,” Purugganan said.
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