February 24, 2024

Hannah Preston | Banner

After a successful regular season for the basketball teams at California Baptist University, the teams are preparing for championships.

Both the men’s and women’s teams plan on taking their success further. However, it is going to require preparation.

Ben Wood, freshman undeclared major and guard on the men’s team, said each player is improving in practice.

“Practice is cut in half because we are focusing on quality over quantity at this point,” Wood said. “Emphasizing on each individual player in getting better, because in turn, the team will improve. When the postseason comes we will be hitting our stride.”

Though the thought of advancing is exciting, the teams are taking things slow, making sure they put all they have into every game.

Cassidy Milhalko, junior business administration major and guard of the women’s team, said the team is preparing themselves to work as hard as they need to to make it to the championships.

“We know that it is tough to get to the championship game and just because it happened last year, doesn’t mean it will happen to us again,” Milhalko said. “We are prepared to work our hardest, and give 100 percent every time we are on the floor, whether it’s for practice or a game.”

Jarrod Olson, head coach of the women’s basketball team, said he is aware of the challenges ahead and has high hopes for his team.

“Our plan is to take it one game at a time,” Olson said. “We have a lot of tough games remaining and we are hoping that we can make another good run in the tournament.”

PacWest Conference quarterfinals begin March 3. With this tournament quickly approaching, Wood said he is fully confident in his team’s capability.

“The idea of winning the PacWest championship and the NCAA tournament is amazing, almost too big to fully understand, but with this team, it is a goal that is very attainable,” Wood said.

Both the men’s and women’s teams picked up several PacWest honors and are gearing up for NCAA Division II playoffs. The women’s team grabbed the PacWest co-champion title and produced the PacWest Coach of the Year in Jarrod Olson.

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