Coaching Up The Cougars

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SANTA MARIA –In four years the Santa Maria High School girls basketball team has had four head coaches. After five years as an assistant with the Cougar boys steam, Andrew Sierra got his first chance to be a head coach with the girls squad.

“A different culture and a different experience,” said Sierra. “Coming from the boys side to the girls side.”

With Sierra at the helm, the Cougars have taken on a new mentality.

“He demanded a lot, “said Keana Ortiz. “He was used to guys so he had high expectations.”

“We can relate to Sierra because he’s helped us through a lot,” said Lorena Ayala. “When he was coaching with the boys, he would still pop in and try to help us.”

The Cougars and their new coach have gone together like peanut butter and jelly. So far, they’re 2-0 in district and 20-2 overall this season.

“You know they picked up and adjusted really well with the different philosophy of mine,” said Sierra.

“We are all coming in as a new group so new mentality, new goals,” said Ayala.

Sierra inherited a group with a blend of experience and youth. He’s depended on four-year letterman Keana Ortiz and Lorena Ayala to set examples for the younger players.

“We were ready,” said Ortiz. “Me and Lori we love basketball. We were ready for basketball season to start.”

“We were trying to be leaders and stand out since our freshman year,” said Ayala.

Next up for Santa Maria, a road game at Lasara Tuesday night.

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