Girls Basketball: Hard Work, High Level of Competition

The female-dominated sports at A.J Dimond High have become more and more competitive each year.


Many of our female athletes have continuously competed in the championship finals for their sports in the past few years; they have even won several of them.


Among these teams is our girls basketball.


Dimond has always had a great program. The girls have won state titles in 2004, 2006 and again in 2015.


“We would work our butts off every day at practice,” said senior state champ Tiffany Jackson.


For hours, they run drills, condition and do sprints on the track. After this routine, they work individually with their trainer.


Other players from last year’s team also credit their achievements to their practices.


Though these sessions take a toll on their bodies, each is grateful for the success that follows.


The girls have attained an undefeated season thus far and have their eyes set on another banner.


Freshman Alissa Pili said, “If we have any chance at a state championship this year, we’re going to have to make improvements early in the season. We’ve been working hard but there’s always room for improvement.”


Returning sophomore Maya Carle played a key role in their state game this past year.


Carle began playing in the third grade and fell completely in love with the game.


She was only a freshman when she became a starter on the 2015 varsity team.


Carle was recognized as the Player of the Game in the champion game last year against West Valley.


She said, “We’ve got a lot of young players, but we’ve proven that it isn’t a disadvantage. We’ve been doing really well and we’re only going to get better.”


Carle has proven through this year’s and last year’s season that age does not affect skill.


Kathleen Navarre also had similar things to say about the girls this year.


Navarre is involved in many of the sports here at Dimond, regardless of gender.


She was voted Most Athletic for her senior class in Kenai in 1986 and loves being involved in the many sports that Dimond has to offer.


Her career at Dimond began in 2001 as a math teacher and as a junior varsity volleyball coach.


Navarre continues to better the athletic program by coaching the track and flag football teams and never fails to show her support for our school by attending almost every sporting event our school has.


Every year, as a season comes to an end in any sports seniors are forced to part ways with their team.


This year, the girl’s basketball team lost six seniors.

Navarre said, “In any program, losing your starters or any players for that matter is hard; which is why having a lot of underclassmen on the team is advantageous because you can train them while their young to play any position.”


She also said, “Our program is lucky enough to have the reputation that it does and athletes transfer to our school to be part of it. We receive new athletes every year and with a sport as popular as basketball, we have potential state champions coming in every season.”


The girls have worked hard to keep their undefeated record thus far and plan on keeping it, in the hopes that it ends with a state championship.