Women’s Basketball Remains Undefeated


Photo courtesy of Shakila Zuberi

Natalia Martinez dominates the court

Kira Pan, Staff Writer

For six days a week, two hours a day, bench presses, Binks’ squeaky gym floors, and basketball drills dominate the mind of the laser-focused players on the court.

Holding a 21-0 undefeated record, the varsity women’s basketball team has found success since their season began in Oct. 2022, coming out on top in all three of the tournaments they have participated in. 

“Since I’ve been coaching, we’ve never won all three tournaments that we entered,” said varsity women’s basketball coach Bryan Gardere, who has been coaching at Piedmont since the 2002-2003 season.

The team is highly ranked in the Bay Area as well as nationally.

“The last time I checked, we are first in NorCal, fourth or sixth in California, and 25th in the nation,” said varsity women’s basketball player junior Natalia Martinez.

The team is preparing for the North Coast Sectional (NCS) playoffs, starting Feb. 15.

Most recently, the team has been playing in league, hoping to come out first this season.

“We are 5-0 in the league,” Gardere said. “We’ve never won the league before. We’ve been runner up and been tied a couple times, but never first.”

As their winning streak continues, more students have come out and supported the team at games.

“We’ve definitely gotten a bigger crowd as far as students, but we definitely feel like more people should be coming to our games,” said women’s varsity basketball player sophomore Shakila Zuberi.  

Despite their success, some players feel that men’s basketball still gets more of an audience, said women’s varsity basketball player sophomore Dorothy Nemeth.

“I think since people know that we’re winning a lot lately, they will come more often, but it still feels like boys basketball seems to be like the main attraction in terms of basketball games here,” Nemeth said.

The success of the basketball team can be attributed to the hard work put in by the girls all year round, starting as early as spring of 2022.

“The season started in the fall, but we practice all year round,” Nemeth said.

Aside from normal practices, girls on the team have been utilizing the weight room for conditioning.

“There’s days where it’s just pure conditioning,” Martinez said. “I definitely think it’s very effective.”

“We lift two or three days a week,” Gardere said. “When other teams are tired, we don’t stop, and it just shows that the weight room and hard work the girls put in pays off.”

Altogether, being on the team is a big time commitment for the players.

“We have games like every other day or every two-three days and practices like six days a week,” Nemeth said. “It can be a little bit tough with school, but I think it’s good for practicing time management.”

The basketball team has built a sense of community among the girls and introduced new friendships.

“I’ve made a lot of new friends,” Nemeth said. “Most of my friends from school are from the team and I would not have met them otherwise since a lot of them go to Millennium.”

“There’s some real friendships there,” Gardere said. “They don’t just play with each other, they play for each other, and I think that’s kind of the difference. When you start building a sisterhood and a culture where everyone’s on the same page, you can tell.”