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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Wildcats shake Acker Gym during their season home opener

Chico player, Shay Stark and Holy Names player, Elle Burland, face off each other during the last ten minutes of the game. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

Women’s basketball is off to a hot start as they introduced their new 2019-2020 season team to Acker Gym Tuesday night, Nov. 12. The Wildcats hosted the Holy Names University Hawks in the first home game of the season. Coming into the game with a record of 1-1, Chico State looked to increase their record of .500 to .667.

Preparing Her Move
Chico player, Jasmine Hess, prepares her next move while dribbling in the center of the court. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

During the first quarter, the two teams seemed evenly matched. The Wildcats scored 14 points and the Hawks had 13 points.

Entering the second quarter the Wildcats brought the fire and showed the Hawks who was boss. A whopping 16 points were scored by Maddy Wong and 12 points were scored by Haley Ison. Chico State lost no time and widened their lead and the final scored ended 71-47.

For the only senior on the team, Maddy Wong, this was her last first home game. She has been playing basketball ever since she was little, and this was her fourth and final home opener.

“I didn’t realize it until we were in the middle of warm-ups,” Wong said. “It’s surreal. It makes me realize that I have to take advantage of every opportunity I have left to play the game.”

Running Down the Court
Chico player Jasmine Hess runs down the court to shoot the ball. She is surrounded by opponents. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

Being the lone senior, many responsibilities are placed on Wong to help lead her team to success. She used to play point guard, so she is accustomed to being a natural leader on the court.

“I always try to lead by example, but this year I’m going to try to be more vocal,” Wong said.

Since Wong has shifted positions from point guard to shooting guard, she has expanded her game. She attempts to influence her teammates to work hard and set a standard for the team.

“Personally, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing and try to exert my confidence to other people, as well,” Wong said. “As a team, I want to make it to the postseason. Its my last year, so I want to make this season as long as I can.”

Freshman forward Caylee Hermanson made her home debut last Tuesday and it sure was a memorable one. Being one of two freshmen, Hermanson has much to learn to catch up with the heavily weighted sophomore and junior team.

“It’s a whole new world,” Hermanson said. “Not only do you have to play at a different level of speed, but every single detail is critiqued to the extreme.”

Swish Shot
Chico player, Shay Stark, makes the shot in a nice swish movement, furthering their winning score. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

College basketball is cut-throat and as a freshman you have to be mentally and physically tough to succeed.

“The good thing about college is you’re just thrown into the pool and it’s sink or swim,” Hermanson said.

Fortunately, Hermanson is confident in her abilities and she believes her work ethic will help her find success on this team.

Shooting Your Shot
Chico player, Haley Ison jumps for the shot as Holy Names player, Elle Burland tries to stop her. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

Players who have had plenty of experience on this team, such as Wong, have much to offer newcomers like Hermanson, Jasmine Hess and junior transfer Daisha Abdelkader. While the grind can be tough and coaches can be intense, Wong mentions that the key is just to keep working hard.

“No matter what, we know that every time we put on that jersey, we have each other’s backs,” Wong said. “I know it’s hard, but you’ll get through it because of the friends you make.”

Karina Cope can be reached at [email protected] or @KarinaICope on Twitter.

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