Lady Rams promise big 2014

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., Feb. 15, 2013
Junior Guard Wendy Weston drives toward the hoop on a breakaway vs. Fermi on Feb. 13. Photos by Steve Smith.
Junior Guard Wendy Weston drives toward the hoop on a breakaway vs. Fermi on Feb. 13. Photos by Steve Smith.

Despite a record of 7-13 and no post-season berth, Rockville High School's girls' basketball team made big strides this year. Coach Israel Caban, in his first season with the Lady Rams, set out to raise his team's game, and that's just what he has done.

“We had some tough games that could have gone either way,” Caban said, after the Rams' victory over Fermi on Feb. 13. “I didn't know how many games we were going to win, but I said it would be exciting, and it's been exciting. The kids have changed the way they approach the game. They've changed the way they prepare, mentally and physically. They've worked really hard – one of the hardest-working teams I've ever coached.”

Caban said while the team did not accomplish its goal of extending the season, it did accomplish many other goals, including changing how the players approach the game defensively. Although the team's season got off to a rough start due to injuries and learning a new system, he said his players had passion from the first practice on. The Rams did manage to end the season with a three-game win streak.

“Now, we're in our system, and things have looked better every day,” he said.

While Caban said every player has made improvements, Katherine Cutting and Danielle Wemmell have stepped up significantly, especially at rebounding, and Hannah Steed excelled in her first year as point guard. Courtney Joubert has also taken a leap at scoring.

“It's been a total effort,” he said, “but we've had kids show up that we didn't know we had. They worked hard every day and they've been fun to coach.”

With a junior-laden team that graduates no players, Caban said next year is certainly Rockville's year, and he guaranteed a 2014 post-season appearance. “The advantage we'll have over everybody else is, everybody [on our team] is coming back,” he said. “Rockville basketball is going to be a force.”

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