The Laney Eagles women’s basketball team, led by head coach Ron Williams, played their last game of the season at home on Feb. 16 against Solano College, losing 65–44. The Eagles ended their season with a winning record of 10–6 in the Bay Valley Conference. Overall, their record was 12–13.
“It was hard for us to buy into everything we’re supposed to do. And it was hard for us to not lose focus,” Laney guard Jassemine Johnson said, reflecting on the season.
The team’s roster was comprised of six freshmen and only two sophomores. For many on the team, the season was a learning experience. “When we first came in, we were all a group of strong personalities, so it took us a minute to really click,” guard Sydney Hills said. Over the course of the season, the players got to know one another and value the relationships that formed, she said.
The Solano game was also Sophomore Night. Xaria Thompson and Sydney Hills were honored in a ceremony at halftime for their achievements on and off the court.
During the game, Williams was not afraid to be vocal to the referees. He shouted and cajoled, yelled encouragement, or groaned his displeasure whenever he thought the referees missed a call. His self-expression has been costly at times.
On Nov. 12, 2017 Laney was forced to forfeit a game in the first quarter when Williams was assessed two technical fouls and ejected for arguing with the referees. To some players, Williams’ commentary was evidence of the coach’s dedication to them.
“Not a lot of coaches will fight for you like they should. You can seriously get hurt out there,” Hills said. “He’s looking out for our health and our best interests.”
Eva Hannan sports editor of the Laney Tower.