Girls basketball coach rebuilds team

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Dan Hicks was not a happy camper at halftime Tuesday night. Lincoln High School’s girls basketball team had managed to score just two points in 16 minutes against Woodcreek of Roseville. Hicks did not lower the boom on his players. The veteran coach realizes the Zebras will take their fair share of lumps this season. Hicks can live with that as long as the girls put forth effort. “Some coaches will rip into their players if they’re not trying, but it’s not that we’re not trying,” he said. “They’re trying and listening. They’re trying to understand what I’m telling them.” That has been the case more often than not in Lincoln’s first seven games. The Zebras are 2-5, but Hicks pointed out two games in which his team had leads in the fourth quarter and fell short. The first was a 51-45 loss to Sutter on Dec. 7. The second was a 41-38 loss to Corning last Saturday. “We’re not finishing games,” Hicks said. “Most of these girls have just not played enough basketball.” The 52-21 loss to Woodcreek did not bother Hicks as much because the Wolverines “were just better than us.” “I hate losing, but we’re not going to win a lot of games this year,” Hicks said. “Our league (Pioneer Valley) is going to be tough. We just need to work on becoming better basketball players.” Hicks knew when he took the job that his team would lack experience in his first season. Senior guard Mikenna Kossow is the only returning starter from the 2009-10 team, which finished 9-18. Kossow can only provide so much leadership on the court, however, because she is not the point guard. That job belongs to junior Elizabeth Magana, who is playing the position for the first time. As Magana gains experience, so are the Zebras. Hicks is rebuilding a team that lost five seniors after last season, including the top three scorers – Julia Lathrop, Brooke Leedy and Morgan Stewart. The rebuilding process will continue tonight when the Zebras face Yuba City at 8 p.m. in the first round of the Chavez Christmas Classic. The eight-team tournament will continue Friday and Saturday at Lincoln High, with the championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday. Other first-round games today will be Sac Waldorf playing West Campus at 3:30 p.m., Marysville battling Rio Linda at 5 and Forest Lake Christian going against Oakmont at 6:30.