By Konnor McIntosh @EASYMONEY_MAC
For the third straight year, the women’s basketball program at Las Positas is on a roll after the holidays. While consistent, the kind of streak they’ve been on is one every team hopes to avoid.
When it comes to high school or college, conference play becomes more meaningful and intense because of local rivalries and playing multiple times against the same opponent.
The current trend of the LPC women’s program is that their best basketball is being played in November and December rather than January and February.
In Coach Clarence Morgan’s third season as coach, the team is 5-25 in three seasons once conference play begins in early January.
The team has scored some nice wins early in tournaments, and is at least consistent, in terms of their record, before Christmas hits.
Take the 2015-16 season: The Hawks had an impressive 11-5 record before conference play and in 14-15 they were 9-7 before the conference circuit.
The argument can be made that the competition in the conference is much tougher than any other opponents they face, but starting 11-5 and subsequently finishing 13-15 is a cause for concern, as is 9-7 to 11-17.
This season, the team only posted a 5-9 record before conference play and is off to a 1-5 start in conference.
It is fair to concede that LPC’s athletic department as a whole is finding it hard to keep up with the likes of San Francisco, Chabot and even San Jose when it comes to recruiting because the program is still relatively young compared to the others.
Despite this, LPC has been able to secure talented players: Samantha Roney and Janelle Bumagat averaging 16.9 and 15.2 points per game respectively.
Bumagat is currently top five in conference leaders for points per game.
This has been a positive for Morgan, as this is the second year in a row he has had a player top five in scoring, with Cayla Nava averaging 16.3 points per game in 2015-16.
Despite having these talented players on the roster, the losses in conference continue.
This January has been particularly rough, as the Lady Hawks have lost by less than 10 just once since the month began.
While final scores can be somewhat deceiving and not always an indicator of how competitive the games are, the only team in league the Hawks have been able to consistently beat is Ohlone.
Besides a 10 point win over San Mateo back in 2015, LPC is 0-24 against everyone in their conference not named Ohlone.
Since Morgan took over, the Lady Hawks have put up a 4-1 record against the Renegades marking their best winning percentage against an opponent in the Coast Conference.
This lack of conference success is the glaring roadblock keeping the LPC’s women’s basketball program from taking the necessary steps to reach the upper echelon.
If the LPC women are going to improve, they must know it all takes time. Before wins can start to add up, positive progress and competitive games need to happen first.
Although there is no way to revive the 2016-17 season, there are still four games remaining on the schedule for the Las Positas women.
Having lost to all four of these opponents this season, these games provide the perfect opportunity to make that progress as well as end the season on a different kind of streak.