Pointer girls off to strong start with new head coach
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 01/15/19 - 09:16 AM | 2760 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Senior Pointer team captain Jessie May (24) drives around a Patrick Henry player during a 55-40 league win. May is averaging 8.5 points per game. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
Senior Pointer team captain Jessie May (24) drives around a Patrick Henry player during a 55-40 league win. May is averaging 8.5 points per game. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
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Like their male counterparts, the Point Loma High girls basketball team is also off to a very hot start to their 2018-19 season. And this success has raised eyebrows because the players are on their fourth head coach in four years.

With league games recently started, the Pointer girls have put up a 13-5 record under new head coach Curtis Norwood. And, like the Pointer boys, the girls have also had to play most of their games on the road while the school's gym was fitted with new seating over the recent winter break.

Taking a look at some early-season game results shows the girls know how to score. They defeated Valley Center 70-23 to begin the season, followed by wins of 53-16 (over Escondido), 56-14 (over El Cajon Valley), 77-34 (over Serra) and 65-13 (over Crawford).

The team has struggled entering league play, losing to Morse, University City and Our Lady of Peace before pinning a 55-40 defeat on Patrick Henry last week in the first game played in Lee Trepanier Gym on the Pointer campus with all new seating installed on the main floor.

On offense, Norwood says he teaches his teams to "play the game with our eyes, play the game ahead," he said. "Play with a purpose and focus on the fundamentals."

Defensively, Norwood's teams are taught to "Be in position to play the game two passes ahead and communicate."

"These concepts and terminology are new and sometimes (teams) get worse before they get better," he noted.

Norwood was hired on Oct. 27 and the winter sports season began Nov. 3 so he had little time to meet and begin preparing his new team. But he likes what he has seen.

"The attitude, fervor and desire is there," he said of his senior-dominated team. "I try to empower the young ladies to be everything they can be."

Norwood cited junior team co-captain Sadie Heckman as a team standout. Heckman scored her 1,000th point as a Pointer in an early season game and was averaging 22.3 points per game this year before being injured in a "very physical game against Morse."

Senior co-captain Jessie May's leadership and 8.5 points per game have impressed Norwood while a pair of freshmen, Mikaela Miles (12.6 points per game) and Nicole Terry (5.0 points per game) have surprised the veteran coach.

Norwood's basketball coaching background began in the Pacific Northwest where he led the River Ridge High girls to the 2A Washington state title in 2008 during a three-year stay. He was named "Coach of the Year" by the Seattle Times.

Norwood took over a 4-16 team at Centralia High School in 2004 and turned it into a 14-12 team in his first of three seasons there. 

He also was head men's coach at South Puget Sound Community College for three years. Recently he has been head girls coach at Granite Hills High in El Cajon.

It hasn't taken Norwood long to know his girls are not only good players but have bright futures ahead.

"There's great character on this team, great human beings. These ladies are going to go on in life and do some great things," he said.

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