By BETO HOYOS
Last season, the Pima Community College women’s basketball team was a well-oiled machine and a tough matchup for many conference opponents.
The Aztecs made it to the Division II Region I championship game as the No. 2 seed, but lost to No. 1 Mesa Community College for the third straight year.
This season, they’ve revamped their roster and brought in 10 freshmen.
“We’re really inexperienced but with that being said, we have a lot of very talented freshmen,” head coach Todd Holthaus said. “I’m really excited to see what happens.”
Holthaus is proud of the hard work his team has exhibited early in the preseason and believes the diligence will pay off.
“They’re a hard working group, extremely hard working group, I love it,” he said.
Becoming comfortable with new teammates and developing good team chemistry can take a while to develop but with the regular season quickly approaching, the Aztecs must develop chemistry on the fly.
“We’re working on our chemistry but this has been one of the lowest maintenance teams I’ve ever had,” Holthaus said.
Returning sophomore Melody McLaughlin is confident in her team and optimistic about the freshmen.
“Our defense is going to win us games and overall we communicate well,” she said.
“Being able to talk on and off the floor keeps up our chemistry and that’s just something we have to keep working on, because we’re girls,” McLaughlin added jokingly.
Newcomers to the PCC basketball program have enjoyed getting to know their new teammates and are excited to join a team with winning traditions.
“I love Pima and I love all these girls,” freshman Ashley Mack said. “Even though sometimes we get on each other’s nerve, I still love them.”
Mack expects the Aztecs to continue their high-octane offense.
“We’re big and we’re really fast,” Mack said. “We also all play pretty smart and we all get along on the court.”
Holthaus expects returning sophomores McLaughlin, Adrianna Barrientez, Jayla Brown and Alexa Arndt to lead on and off the court.
“Our leaders are probably Mel, Adri and Jayla, so we’re really inexperienced,” he said.
Oct. 30: Tucson Sol scrimmage, West Campus, 7 p.m.
Nov. 6-7: @ Arizona Western Classic, Yuma, TBA.
Nov. 19: @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, Chandler, 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 22: Phoenix College, West Campus, 2 p.m.