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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 1:34 am | Fair 43º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

Goleta Lady Bulls Ready for Basketball Season Tip-Off

Fifth- and sixth-grade basketball squad hopes to repeat last year's success.

After hard, grueling sessions of conditioning and practice, the Goleta Lady Bulls’ fifth- and sixth-grade traveling basketball team is ready to soar to new heights for the 2009 season.

“I see a new look in this team’s eyes this year,” said coach Norman Lowe. “The experiences we had last year, the learning curve on what it takes to be not good but a great team ... this team has grown.”

Once again the trio of Brandy Jimenez, Jordyn Lilly and Hallie Magee will lead the charge for the Lady Bulls.

“These three bring it at practice every single time” Lowe said. “Their work ethic is a testament to their families.”

Jimenez’s play at point guard is essential for the Lady Bulls to compete. At first hesitant to play the point, she has blossomed.

“She knows that for us to compete, the ball has to be in her hands 85 percent of the time,” Lowe said. “She has to control the game and be the leader I know she is.”

Not only is Jimenez a force on offense but she’s a terror on defense.

“She plays defense the way defense is supposed to played — tough and in your face,” Lowe said. “Our best on the ball defender, it’s hard to believe she’s only been playing organized ball for 11 months.”

Also, only going into her second year of play, Magee, or “The Beast” as her teammates call her, is the center in more ways than one.

“Hallie doesn’t know how good she really is,” Lowe said.

With the outside shooting skills of a guard, Magee has teams worried how best to guard her. Her coaches would like to see her inside game improve, though.

”Once Hallie figures out how to use her size to her advantage, other teams are going to have to double up on her,” Lowe said. “She just has to believe in her skills. She’s just so good!”

Magee also leads the team in blocked shots.

“The earth moves whenever she blocks a shot,” Lowe said.

Lilly is probably the most polished player on the team.

“Everything I ask of Jordyn she does and does well,” Lowe said. “She can pass, rebound, defend and most recently has developed a feathery touch from the 3-point line. Our team feeds off of Jordyn’s play. When Jordyn makes a great play the whole team, coaches included, get energized.”

Lilly has had the opportunity to play against older competition this past winter. Lowe hopes that experience carries over to the Lady Bulls.

“Jordyn can share what she’s learned with the other girls in the ways of being more physical,” he said.

The Lady Bulls’ leading rebounder, Lowe hopes for a more selfish Lilly this year.

“Jordyn is a more of a pass first, shoot later type of player,” he said. “Hopefully, she learned last year we need her to score for us to be successful.”

Norman Lowe is a coach and parent for the Goleta Lady Bulls.

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