Family first for the Lady Jaguars basketball team
Feb 17, 2020 03:02PM
● By Greg James
The Jaguars have adopted the word “family” to remind them they are a team. (Photo courtesy of Lei Lolohea)
By Greg James | [email protected]
The West Jordan High School girls basketball team has learned more than the game. Players have learned to serve one another as a family.
“We talk about family a lot,” Jaguars head coach Lei Lolohea said. “When I was an assistant, the seniors were only freshmen; they believed in the culture and have set the foundation we are trying to build.”
The Jaguars spend time finding ways to help each other. Secret sister events during the holidays and senior mentors have helped the team bond.
“I am my biggest critic,” Lolohea said. “I feel like we have a good flow going with the team. We have great senior leaders that have set the tone. These girls have been with me since I got this job. Now that it is region, we want our season to go from going well to going great.”
The Jaguars won five of their first six games. They defeated Cyprus in their first region contest but fell to Hunter and Kearns.
“We have such a young team that we need to find more chemistry,” Lolohea said. “We work on getting to know each other off the court so that it can form on the court. Learning the IQ or game of basketball is what we need now.”
The Jaguars loss in December to Corner Canyon (39-45) was important even though they did not come out victorious.
“We are picking up the competitiveness from playing tough teams,” Lolohea said. “If this team is better than us, we can learn from them and see what makes them good. We want to schedule some teams that make us rise to our potential. That is the biggest part of West Jordan basketball, that we have not hit our potential as a team. I know it is up there.”
Senior April Aguado is the leading scorer on the team. She is averaging 9.2 points per game. She scored a season-high 23 Jan. 3 against Mountain Ridge.
“[Aguado] grew up and has matured from her younger years,” Lolohea said. “She has become a positive leader and an advocate for girls athletics here at West Jordan. She is so positive. She picks up the girls when they have their heads down. She teaches the game as a player. The relationships they have outside of the court, the way they take care of each other is more than I could ask for. There is a lady jag pride.”
That pride is important to their coach. She sees that, even in players that don’t get much playing time.
“Shelby (Baker) comes off the bench and does not get as much playing time, but she is a leader,” Lolohea said. “When she goes into the game, she goes 110%. Even on the bench, she teaches the young girls. It is kind of like a big sister little sister kind of thing.”
The Jaguars’ head coach wants her team to succeed.
“I think all of my girls deserve the recognition,” she said. “This is a team that is headed in the right direction.”