First-year Hagerman girls basketball coach James Scott has to buoyed by the fight his team showed. Scott was late in being hired and after serving an apprenticeship under some accomplished coaches in high school basketball, he felt ready to lead his first team. Scott was an assistant, under Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez the last couple of years, and knows what it is like to go to state and play against the best competition.
RDR Sports caught up with coach Scott after a triumphant first season on the bench: Scott tells readers in his own voice what it was like to move a seat over and be in charge. He also talks about being positive and building toward the future:
This season was full of achieving small goals for a bright future. Coming into my first season as the head coach of the Hagerman Lady Bobcats, there were a couple things we wanted to accomplish. First was improving the overall record, which was 2-23. Next, we wanted to beat varsity opponents. The previous year the two wins came against junior varsity teams. Finally, we wanted to win some district games.
By the end of the season all those goals were achieved. While they were not huge improvements they were steps in the right direction. We went 5-20, winning against varsity-level teams, and we won a game in district. Now that those goals are behind us, we plan to keep improving next year and keep taking those small steps that will lead to bigger goals.
Heading into next year we do lose four seniors, all of which played important roles to this year’s success. First, we lose our two biggest posts in Valeria Bejarano and Adiel Clark. They played big minutes for us and really bolstered the middle of our defense.
Next, we lose Emily Hoppes, who made the all-district team and was at times our biggest offensive threat. She had some really big games for us during the district and her three-point shooting will be hard to replace. Finally, we lose Esther Delacruz, who was another all-district selection and led us in rebounding the entire season. She played a key role in pushing the pace of the game to the speed we liked to play.
Although we do lose four seniors, we return a very solid core of younger talent that should be able to carry on what these seniors this year started. First, we return two juniors in Yamile Ortiz and our final all-district team selection, Ariel Tarango. Both had big roles on our team this year and will be great leaders for next year’s team.
We return two sophomores, Isabel Flores and Kristal Olivas, who split time this year as our main ball handlers. Both worked real hard all year, learning to have the huge responsibility of having to handle the ball most of the time, and getting us in our offenses. Both will continue to get better and the work they have already put in is huge for next season.
We return a freshmen in April Necaise that really started playing well toward the end of the season. Her defense is great, but we’ll need a good summer to catch her offensive skills up. We have two kinds of role players this year in sophomore Carlise Villa and freshmen Shaeleigh Gonzales that could really see a lot of time with a good summer.
Finally, we have eighth-grader Natalie Gomez, who got pulled up from the middle school team at the end of the middle school season to play varsity. She showed glimpses that she was already ready to play at the varsity level. She’s a really exciting kid to watch play and we’re eager to see where she’ll be at after a good summer.
Here is a list of the Girls District Basketball 4-2A All-District Awards 2019-2020:
Esther Delacruz- Sr.- Hagerman
Emily Hoppes- Sr.- Hagerman
Ariel Tarango- Jr.- Hagerman