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New Knights in town

Trinity Classical Academy has a new varsity girls basketball team, and its already winning big games

Posted: February 3, 2014 6:53 p.m.
Updated: February 3, 2014 6:53 p.m.
Trinity's Taylor Oshiro (5) goes in for a layup during Trinity's first-ever varsity basketball game against Einstein on Dec. 3, 2013. Trinity's Taylor Oshiro (5) goes in for a layup during Trinity's first-ever varsity basketball game against Einstein on Dec. 3, 2013.
Trinity's Taylor Oshiro (5) goes in for a layup during Trinity's first-ever varsity basketball game against Einstein on Dec. 3, 2013.

It didn’t matter how little experience or how small the team was, coaches weren’t going to coddle Trinity Classical Academy’s newest varsity sports team.

It wouldn’t be the Trinity way.

So when the school threw together a 10-player high school girls basketball team this year for the first time, the bar was immediately set high.

“We’re not going to treat them as a first-year team,” said Trinity girls basketball head coach Dawn Hammer. “We’re going to have very high expectations because they are very athletic. And they’ve done really, really well.”

This group of girls – six of them freshman – with nearly no previous competitive basketball experience is now 8-7 with four games left to play.

With a strong finish in Heritage League play, the Trinity Knights could very well end up in the playoffs. The Knights sit at second in the league with a 2-1 record.

A finish in the top two would put Trinity into the postseason.

And this is all from a team made up of volleyball, softball and soccer players and a swimmer, and whose tallest player is 5 feet, 10 inches tall.

The only player with significant basketball experience coming in was freshman guard Taylor Oshiro.

She’s been playing ball since age 3 and she’s part of the local SCV Triple Threat travel ball organization.

In many ways, this team was built around her going back to when she was playing for Trinity’s junior high teams. It was a multi-year building process.

“There aren’t enough words to describe her and what she does and what she means to the program,” Hammer said.

The numbers tell a lot of the story of Oshiro’s impact. She’s scoring an average of 22.9 points per game, which accounts for 71 percent of the team’s scoring this season.

As time has gone on, others are starting to catch on as well.

There’s fellow freshman Emily Buchanan, who is leading the team with 12.8 rebounds per contest.

Her go-to sport is soccer, but the school had to scrap its girls soccer program this season because it couldn’t put together a full roster.

That helped bring some athletes to the basketball team.

Additionally, Hammer and the coaching staff convinced a few players from other sports to try their hands on the hardwood.

That included senior captain Jacey Massetto, who was an All-Heritage League first-team volleyball player this past fall. She is the team’s only senior.

“It’s actually come pretty easily because I’ve been  playing sports so long and I’m used to playing on a team and I’m used to having different coaches,” Massetto said.

Also in Trinity’s starting lineup is junior Mykaela Delgado, a swimmer who has competed at the CIF-Southern Section finals.

Her contributions primarily come on the defensive end.

She, like many others on the team, has had to learn as she goes.

“It’s been this balance between pushing them on the court and also in practice getting them to hone their fundamentals,” said Hammer, who works as an administrator at Trinity and has been coaching junior high teams at the school since 2010.

Trinity has been playing home games at either Newhall Church of the Nazarene or The Master’s College.

Practices are held wherever available, often times Velocity Sports Performance in Valencia.

Though the team doesn’t yet have a permanent home, Hammer said with this team full of young, eager athletes, there’s no reason why it won’t continue to grow and evolve.

At Trinity, they wouldn’t have it any other way.


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