Historic

Girls Basketball team wins first championship in over 20 years

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Historic

The girls cheering their teammates on.

The girls cheering their teammates on.

The girls cheering their teammates on.

The girls cheering their teammates on.

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With much hard-work, Bells Girls Basketball Varsity team played a history-making season, concluding their season with Varsity winning the championship game against Sotomayor High School in Granada Hills, an accomplishment that hasn’t been achieved since 1998.

When the buzzer rang to signal the end of the 4th quarter, the players ran to each other, faces filled with overwhelming emotion, triumph above all. The players embraced, some crying because they had just made history.

“I felt like I accomplished something amazing in my life. I never would have thought of ending my senior year receiving such an amazing gift. Just the thought of looking at all my teammates made me very emotional,” Yeimi said.

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  • Yeimi on offense dribbling the ball.

  • Yeimi getting ready to shoot the ball, while having two girls from the opposing team guarding her.

  • Brissa Castillo ran to her teammates and hugged them as tears ran down her face due to the fact that the team had just won the championships.

  • The team showing off their trophy and medals after winning the championship game.

  • Yeimi Ramirez hugging her teammate while crying

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Sadly, they lost their second round of the state championships against Madison High School in San Diego on February 28 with a score of 55-33.

The season concluded with long embraces. It was apparent that the players were trying to hold their hugs for as long as they could, trying to make the game last longer.  They cast their last glances at the time and score and as their loss began setting in, their faces began wearing an expression of longing, sadness and overall exhaustion. As if to rub salt in their wounds, the Madison players and fans began cheering in another burst of joy and exasperation.

However, the team made history again, being the first ever Bell team to host a State Playoff game at Bell High School and win first round.

“Losing the second game of state champs I still wasn’t satisfied with just winning state champs, I wanted to win it all. Although that didn’t occur, it was just very emotional as well because it ended up being my last game ever of my high school career. I was glad that we ended up going this far off during the season. I was thinking about how we had such a bumpy road this season and I’m just glad we made it far,” Yemi said.

The team may had not made it as far as they hoped but their season was long and admirable, teamwork and the common desire to succeed uniting them. “It was an honor to see them playing their hearts out,” Mr. Casanas said.

“Making Varsity this year was and is an amazing experience, especially since it is my first year,” Leila Saab, a sophomore playing in Varsity said.

“It feels like a big accomplishment. It’s a reward for all of us here. ” Coach Castillo said.  

Bell High School’s girls basketball team won their first games of the season against Gala High School on Tuesday, November 13th with a substantial score of 59-4 from the Varsity team and 36-10 from the JV team. “With all the hard work and new things that we have been learning, we should be winning in all of the games,” team captain Yeimi Ramirez said after the teams won their first games of the season.

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  • The team stands hand-in-hand in unity and pride, ready to receive their medals

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  • faces of disbelief and happiness

  • Many Bell High School teachers, administration, and students make the journey out to Granada Hills on a Thursday night to support the Girls Basketball Team in their championship game

  • Leila Saab and Brissa Castillo unable to hold back tears as they wait to receive their medals

  • Leila Saab running to the group hug.

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On Saturday February 9th, Varsity played a playoff game against Animo De La Hoya and won with a wide gap of 50-5, followed by a game against Washington Prep High School with a score of 55-31.

“We didn’t make it to playoffs last year and we are a much more united team this year,” Yeimi said.    

Yeimi and Coach Castillo agreed that when a player is on the court, all of the problems that they are having need to stay out.

“You can’t practice when your mind is thinking of something else. When you step on the court you need to have your full attention on the ball,” Yeimi said.

“I’m pretty focused when I get on the court. I don’t focus on anything else that isn’t the ball,” Raquel Pena, a freshman in Varsity says.

With this focus and intent on improving individually, it is no wonder the Varsity team was so accomplished this season.

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  • Coach Castillo showing the Championships trophy.

  • The girls cheering their teammates on.

  • The girls run to each other to hug in tight embraces as the buzzer signaled the end of the fourth quarter

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  • The girls hug in tight embraces because they had just made history!

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JV and Frosh weren’t able to do as well as Varsity, but found inspiration in their success. Coach Castillo hopes to see more improvement in both of these teams in the upcoming season.

“I think that JV and Frosh always have to have a positive mindset and to always set a goal. Lesley Segura, a senior in Varsity said. “That goal should be to work harder on the track, in the weight room, and on the court, and just like that, more competitive your game will be. It may take some practice; working on basketball drills, getting yelled at by Coach, but it all pays off in the end after winning 10-20 games. You’ll be thanking not only your Coach but yourself! You’ll be thanking yourself for putting that goal and you’ll be able to feel that ease of accomplishment and success.”

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