Both the A and B girls basketball teams from Desert Ridge Middle School went an undefeated 6-0 for the 2021-22 season. The A team consists of 10 eighth-graders, many of whom will continue to play at La Cueva High School next year. The B team is a mix of sixth- and seventh-graders.
“Our secret to success this year was having an amazingly talented group of athletes,” coach Donald Starr wrote in an email. “We also focus on preparation, working hard in practice and not making excuses.”
The season didn’t go without challenges, though. Because of the ever changing rules regarding COVID-19 mandates, the girls had to wear masks for all but one game throughout the season. Spectators were also banned at the beginning of the season before the rules were relaxed to allow two spectators per player. In addition, bus driver shortages and the inability of Jimmy Carter Middle School to field a team resulted in canceled games.
“Normally, our A team plays 10 regular-season games and a tournament,” Starr wrote. “This year, we only ended up with six games and the tournament was canceled.”
Despite the challenges and hurdles, the lady Diamondbacks persevered to finish the season without a single loss.
“Through every issue, our girls never lost focus and battled hard! I am very proud of their accomplishments, especially during such a trying season,” Starr said.