If there's a positive about the Golden Valley's girls 0-6 start, it's this: There is room to improve. Cougars coach Matt Thissen has a list of things he'd like to see.
"We've struggled with, in this order: turnovers, putting the ball in the basket and leadership," Thissen said.
What Thissen does like is his team is giving up only 38 points per game.
The Cougars are making strides. They had a 22-20 lead Wednesday against Sunnyside, but managed just eight points in the second half.
Golden Valley is led by a couple of gritty seniors in Cristina Quizon and Beatriz Munoz. Quizon will be asked to handle the ball.
"Cristina has to make very good decisions with the ball," Thissen said. "We're not necessarily looking for her to score, but she can take the opportunities when they're there."
Munoz will usually draw the assignment of guarding the other team's top scorer.
On offense, the Cougars likely will be led by a couple of sophomores in Camille Flores and Marissa Servantes. Thissen says Flores is the closest thing they have to a pure shooter. She's already knocked down three 3-pointers in games twice this season.
"What Marissa lacks in height and bulk, she makes up for by being extremely quick and very aggressive, Thissen said.
The Cougars will be hard-pressed to match the athleticism of teams in Central California Conference play, but expect to see a team better adjusted to competing at the varsity level come January.
"We're always striving to improve, whether it's Game 1 or Game 27," he said. "Sometimes we have to simplify things a bit. Once we get a little more comfortable with what we're doing we'll add to what we're trying to do."
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