Reporting Steve Large
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Learning how to lose can be tough for teens. One high school basketball team is getting a lot of practice.
They’ve lost 46 straight games.
But that’s not stopping the Hiram Johnson girls team from pushing forward and playing with heart.
This is not exactly a case of practice makes perfect. This is about the team’s persistence.
“Yeah, we are because we’re sticking in there. We’re not giving up,” senior Shaina Hagan said.
Losing games by remarkably lopsided scores and still giving their all with an incredible attitude
In their game Tuesday, they fell down 35-2 at the half. They lost 72-8. That followed other jaw-dropping defeats of 71-3 and 105-2.
“Actually that one hurt the least. Because of the amount of effort put into that game, I didn’t lose any sleep over it at all,” coach Jeanie Huizar said.
Opposing coaches are taking notice of these girls’ grit
“It’s pretty amazing because I don’t sense that they give up,” said McClatchy coach Jessica Kunisaki. “They are sticking together as a team.”
The girls on this Hiram Johnson team are here because they earned their spot on the court through their work in the classroom. More than half, 17 of the 30 students who tried out, were ineligible to play because of bad grades.
“And I kept the ones that had the grades and formed a team out of them,” Huizar said.
Now those who’ve made it are learning how to deal with their critics.
“Most people at school say ‘what’s the score?’ Hagan said. “They say ‘you guys suck’ and I say ‘I don’t see you out there trying.”
Hagan wants to be a police officer. And Junior Leticia Ceballos hopes to take these lessons on the basketball court to the courtroom one day.
“I want to be a lawyer,” she said.
A high school basketball team not willing to be typecast as lovable losers.
“No, because we’re not trying to lose on purpose,” Huizar said. “But yeah, they’re lovable.”
They’re learning some hard lessons with lopsided losses now so that success in the real world won’t be such a long shot.