Losing five seniors and being led by seven underclassmen would normally have a negative effect on wins, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for the Westmoor High School girls’ basketball team.
“I knew I had an outstanding crop of freshmen coming in,” Westmoor’s fourth-year coach Jorge Gama said. “I’m very excited, the most excited I’ve been in my four years. [It’s] not too much of a down year.”
The Rams (6-2) have won 17 games each of the past two seasons, and Gama doesn’t see that changing much this year in large part due to guards Marinel Alcantara and Yazmeen Goo.
Alcantara, who is averaging 15.3 points, returns for her sophomore season and has been the go-to player and leader for Westmoor.
“She’s always upbeat and trying to direct the young ones in the right direction,” Gama said.
Goo has been a jack-of-all-trades early on, but has been most valuable as a passer.
“[Goo] handles the ball far beyond her years,” Gama said. “We’ve had some very good guards in the past. This one comes in being a self-made point guard.”
The freshman has kept her teammates on their toes, Gama said, averaging 7.9 points, 6.3 assists and 4.4 rebounds.
Goo’s ability to run the point has fallen right into the uptempo style of play Westmoor likes to run.
“Everybody knows they have to be on their toes. They don’t know when they’ll receive a pass,” Gama said. “If you hustle down the court, you’ll probably get an easy bucket down on the other end.”
But Gama knows his team still has plenty of room left to improve.
“[We need to] get our bond a little better as a team,” Gama said. “They want to earn [playing time]. Our practices are very competitive.”
The influx of talent has been in part due to Gama’s relationship with his incoming players and their want to stay at home to play.
“They wanted to play for me,” Gama said. “Homegrown talent is coming that may not have come before.”
Westmoor finished third in Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division last season, behind Carlmont and Half Moon Bay, but came close to finishing tied for the league title.
“We were a few points away from making it a three-way tie for the league title,” Gama said. “We’ll be right up in the hunt.”