Palomar College Women’s Basketball team has won 5 of their last 6 games, since starting the season 3-8.
They crushed Imperial Valley by 40 points on Jan. 15 and scored a season high 97 points against San Diego City College in The Dome on Jan. 17.
Last year’s championship squad went 18-11 before losing to Moorpark in the third round of playoffs. This year’s team is 8-9 ( 3-1 in Conference). Just five games behind conference leader Mt. San Jacinto.
Head Coach Leigh Marshall attributes the team’s early season struggles to rule changes, maturity, health and a difficult schedule.
New rule changes this season, regarding contact and hand checking, affected the team’s style of play early in the season. Under Marshall, the Comets play a physical, aggressive, pressing defense, which has made it a hard adjustment.
“Before you could use two hands , now you get a one touch and that’s it. It’s like a hot stove, it took us awhile to adjust. Teams earlier in the season were shooting 30-35 free throws against us, it was tough,” Marshall said.
This team is much younger compared to last season’s team, with eight freshmen on the roster, many fresh out of high school and just four sophomores.
“It has taken them awhile to adjust to the longer college schedule compared to high school,” Marshall said.
Injuries have plagued the team this season. Most have been minor, but freshman forward Dechae Evans missed the game against San Diego City College, with a knee injury.
A high competitive schedule hasn’t helped the Comets either, including two match-ups already with last season’s state runner-up, Mt. San Jacinto. The Comets lost both meetings.
“It’s frustrating when you go against schools with bigger players. We are a small team. We just have to play our game and force the pace,” sophomore forward, Bianca Littleton said. Littleton played on last year’s championship team.
However, leading scorer Mikaela Stanton, feels pretty good about the Comets chances of winning the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Championship and thinks this team is better than last year’s championship team.
“We have better team speed, chemistry, athletes, a little bit of everything,” Stanton said.