The Comets advanced to their second final four in the program’s history, their second consecutive advance. They were undefeated, which was the first time in Palomar College women’s basketball history, as they entered the playoffs in their regular season as well as that of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.
This season the women’s basketball team surpassed their previous accomplishments. Having lost the 2020 season to COVID, as did all California division two schools and junior colleges, there were particular issues in not having competitive play during that time. But the training and conditioning paid off.
Coach Marshall said via phone call, “It’s kind of hard while you’re in it to realize what you’re doing… we didn’t talk about being undefeated the whole season, but it is an amazing accomplishment.”
“We were 31 and 0 before we lost in that final four game, and we lost by one point to Butte, who’s the number one team,” she said, “…(it) has a lot to do with our sophomores. We had a really special group.”
How about next season? Marshal said, “We have eight returners, so we had nine moving on… every year is a big turnaround. You have to keep ’em coming in and moving them out to the next level. We have some key returners coming back to give us big minutes this year that we’re excited to see grow and develop and be leaders next year.”
Returning player Evelyn Terraza explained through email, “In this season some things that really separated us was that we bought into the idea of putting in extra work. Every team practices 4-5 times a week but it’s what you do outside those hours that determine success as players. We also had very big leaders on and off the court to help guide us.”
“For this upcoming season I anticipate the same willingness from my team to want to get into the gym and work their craft, personally I want to be a role model for my team and push them to their fullest potential,” wrote Terraza.
Sophomore Faith Schwanter wrote via email, “Most of the team this year was a part of our program during the previous 2021-2022 season and so for a lot of us losing in the Elite Eight game like we did and just the way that we performed as a unit changed our mentality and our drive. We didn’t want to ever lose like that again and so our goal was to go undefeated. Obviously that didn’t pan out this year, but the fruit of our labors and our grind during the offseason was definitely evident in our regular season run and our mindset over the year as a whole. Taking that loss and growing from it prepared us for this season.”
“We didn’t have an exceptionally good game, but we all wanted that win so bad and to be able to beat the team that knocked us out the the tournament the previous year that we pulled it together,” recalling their defeat of Delta, Schwanter said, “We were able to stay true to ourselves even through the ups and downs of the game. It was a grind and whenever I look back at it I remember it as when we really started to trust one another and play like Comets.”
Her advice for newbies: “Practices and workouts aren’t always going to be fun, but the grind is what makes the wins all the more rewarding. I would just say to any incoming athletes to learn from the moments that are difficult and embrace the journey because it is over quicker than you can anticipate. When it’s gone you are gonna miss it and the worst thing that can happen is for you to have regrets at the end.”
- Basketball: Photo courtesy of Hugh Cox | Used With Permission