YHS girls basketball team is off to a great start

Pictured with its third place trophy in the Mustang Tip Off Tournament is the 2019-20 Yucaipa High School varsity tournament team: Back row left to right: Assistant Coach Paul Shalhoub, Assistant Coach Liz Calbreath, Halle Aldrich, Nicole Calbreath, Abi Frisch, Hailey Estrada, Rachael Peters, Makayla Harding, Ashley Urban, Alexa Grippi, Assistant Coach Jen Griggs and Head Coach Jeremy Hoch. Front row left to right: Grace Estrada, Jazmin Gibson, Leanne Cuevas, Peyton Shalhoub and Macy McKibban.

Having graduated four seniors after the 2018-19 season taking most of the height on the team with them, the Yucaipa High School girls basketball team needed to take a little different approach this year.

“We may be shorter than past years, but we are incredibly hard working,” said head coach Jeremy Hoch, now in his ninth season at YHS.

The Thunderbirds have played in three preseason tournaments and had two non-league games. They have accumulated a record of 11-3 and are currently ranked eighth in CIF Southern Section Division 2A. The one loss in each tournament came at the hands of the eventual tournament champion.

The Thunderbirds are hoping to win another Citrus Belt League title this year. Their biggest competition will be with Cajon High School. Yucaipa has won the CBL championship two of the last three years and finished second behind Cajon in 2019.

The T-birds have five seniors on the team, Leanne Cuevas, Grace Estrada, Jazmin Gibson, Macy McKibban, and Peyton Shalhoub who all play incredible team basketball and scrappy defense. Estrada and Cuevas are the leading scorers on the team with 15 and 13 points per game, respectively. Juniors Halle Aldrich, Nicole Calbreath and Rachael Peters add height and rebounding to the team along with tough inside defense. Freshman Hailey Estrada is a defensive threat with great ball handling along with junior Alexa Grippi, who provides energy off the bench.

The Thunderbirds start the Citrus Belt League with two home games on Jan. 8, against Citrus Valley and Jan. 10 against Carter (this is also a pink out game). An alumni recognition game is scheduled for Jan. 31 against Redlands East Valley.

If you played girls basketball at YHS and would like to attend the game and be recognized, please contact Assistant Coach Liz Calbreath through the activities office at Yucaipa High School. All varsity games start at 6 p.m.

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