Injury devastates team’s leadership


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Contra Costa player drives to the hoop during the Comet Classic tournament at the Gymnasium Saturday.

By Robert Clinton, Opinion Editor

After a promising start to the 2017-18 season for the women’s basketball team, injuries and inconsistency slowly dissolved any aspirations the Comets had for finishing atop the Bay Valley Conference standings.

Finishing (6-20 overall and 3-13 in the BVC) and failing to win any back-to-back games this season, the team’s season was not completely in jeopardy until late December when an auto accident injury forced 2016 All-BVC point guard Dierra Mize to miss the rest of the season.

Mize said her knee has not recovered enough for her to begin rehab yet and that she expects it to be a lengthy process.

As one of only three sophomores on the team, Mize provided much needed leadership.

Forward Larissa Carvalho said, “Honestly, what really hurt us was losing Dierra. She was one of our leaders. We had to rely on a freshman (Kristyle King) to lead the team and she wasn’t used to it. The transition from high school to college is really big.

“Even though it wasn’t the best season, we actually built some really interesting relationships. There were losses in the standings, but there was growth in us as a team.”

Carvalho, along with sophomore Jahna Maramba, kept the Comets close or ahead in many of the team’s games this season. Maramba’s relentless energy and dribble-drive scoring at will gave CCC its most consistent scoring option this season.

Maramba is invited to compete in the State Sophomore Showcase March 8 in Southern California.

When Maramba missed, it was Carvalho who cleaned the boards.

Maramba finished eighth in the BVC in scoring at 15.8 points per game while Carvalho averaged 10.2 rebounds per game, good for fourth in the conference.

“It went a little downhill when girls started dropping off and things started getting in the way, whether it be academically or because of personal reasons,” Maramba said. “I think my team got a lot better throughout the season. Even in our last game you could see a lot of improvement. We had a solid season.”

With only three wins since Jan. 1, it was clear that attrition had firmly taken hold of the freshman- heavy squad.

As each mistake mounted during the final month of the season, it was clear that the weight of injuries and obstacles was too much for CCC to bear.