Sloan, Masnica shine as underclassmen on varsity team

Most people know that it takes a load of perseverance to make a great team. But it also takes talent.

And talent can come from some seemingly unlikely sources.

Giving their all for the varsity girls basketball team this season are two underclassmen: freshman Alex Masnica and sophomores Marjorie Sloan.

Masnica and Sloan both play guard.

Sloan has been playing basketball since fourth grade, and before entering high school, she played for the Elk Grove Feeder Basketball team.

Masnica, before joining the high school basketball scene, had been involved in the sport since early on in her elementary school life. She, too, then moved up to the Elk Grove Feeder Basketball team.

In order to prove herself now on the varsity basketball court, Sloan works herself hard during practices.

Masnica also subjects herself to the challenges of participating at the varsity basketball level.

“At first, it was very challenging with the competition being more competitive,” Masnica said. “But, as the year went on, it started coming easier to me.”

They key to success is not only having talent and drive, but also having a strong support system. The older girls on the team, as well as coach Swanson, are one support system.

“The older girls are really good for support,” Sloan said. “I keep telling myself to keep working hard in practice and I hope that I will get more playing time on the varsity level.”

“The coach and the older girls are a good source of support because they are always willing to help you out and help you understand something if you are not understanding it,” Masnica said.

Support doesn’t just come from the team. The girls’ families are very proud of their daughters’ accomplishments.

“My family is very proud of me for working hard and for always trying my best,” Sloan said. “I am very proud of myself for working hard and making varsity softball my freshman year and getting moved up at the end of my freshman year for basketball.”

For both Sloan and Masnica, the matter of playing basketball well into their futures is uncertain.

“I don’t know right this second if I would like to continue basketball in college,” Sloan said. “I still need to improve tremendously and keep on improving on the little things that matter.”

Masnica, however, knows that playing basketball is going to become a fundamental part of her high school career.

“I plan on playing basketball all four years of my high school career,” Masnica said, “but I am not sure if I will play in college or not.”

While Masnica could say that her greatest achievement while playing for the varsity team is based on some statistic, her view of her greatest achievement is much more humble.

“I personally think my greatest achievement for this team so far is being able to play with my teammates and have a great time,” Masnica said. “It is a great honor playing with them all and it has taught me so much about the game of basketball.”

By: Abby Ray