Updated: Dec 4, 2019
The Lady Monarchs Basketball season is set to get underway and is looking to ride the momentum of the past two seasons and have another successful season.
By Vicente Vitela, Staff Writer
Tip off is almost here for Lady Monarchs basketball and this season the team is looking to go hard in the paint in hopes of a deep playoff run.
For the lady Monarchs, they are looking to make it a three-peat as Western State Conference Champions while looking to match their success of two years ago, which saw the team reach the state sweet sixteen. The “Reign of Hang” continues at Valley College as Head Coach Monica Hang returns for her 11th season with a 167-92 overall mark at Valley.
“The coaching staff is committed to teaching and developing each individual so they can learn and be at their best,” said Coach Hang.
This year’s lady Monarch team will see somewhat of a two to one freshman to sophomore ratio, which includes two out-of-state players: one from Minnesota and one from Washington. Valley will look to repeat its success on defense from last year, when they held opponents to 23 percent from beyond the arc. The stingy Monarchs only allowed an average of 54.9 points per game, good enough to rank ninth in the state.
“We have three returning WSC First Team All-Conference players which I never had before, so I am excited,” said Hang. “This team thrives off energy and defense, which is great because defense wins championships.”
On the offensive end, the Monarchs ranked in the top 40 in both 3-point and field goal percentages at 36 and 38 respectively, while averaging over 66 percent from the free-throw line. This year, the Monarchs are returning two key iron women in Rebecca Castillo, and Sophia Hughes. Hughes averaged at least 34 minutes a game while averaging at least 10 points a night.
“Each individual must understand and live up to their role,” said Coach Hang on discussing what it would take for a deep playoff run. “They must continue to work hard, play smart and stay hungry to be great.”
Despite having a 10-17 record last season, the Lady Monarchs were able to remain 500 in conference play and came away with another Western State Conference title. However, their record failed to qualify them for a playoff spot for the first time in two years.
The coaches and players hope to bounce back and change that for the 2019/2020 season.