“I was really proud of my team,” Schopper-Ramirez said. “The first game we won pretty easily, but in the second round we got beat by Hamilton. They were a really good team and they pressed us a lot, and that’s what I wanted to see. I wanted to see how we handled the press. They beat us pretty good because we made a lot of young mistakes. The third game we bounced back and didn’t make the same mistakes and we played really tough. Sac High had three Division-I players on their team and a post that was 6-foot-2, 250 pounds. She was like a linebacker and we did really well boxing her out and handling their pressure and speed.
“Overall, I was impressed. I actually thought we did better than I thought we would do down there. We maintained our composure and we grew down there. We took the mistakes we made in one game and didn’t make them again in the next. We learned a lot and I was proud of them.”
The Nike Tournament of Champions marked the start of winter break for the Lady Raiders. Now, the RHS crew plans to take full advantage of the extra time off to prepare for High Desert League play once school resumes.
“During break, the key thing for us is still conditioning,” Schopper-Ramirez said. “I like to run them a lot and condition them a lot through the break because they are sitting around at home and eating a lot more. So we focus a lot on conditioning.
“The other thing we focus a lot on is breaking down our defense. We’ll watch film and watch ourselves play. We’ll watch those games from the Nike Tournament and watch what mistakes we made and talk about our shifts on defense. So we’ll take those kinds of things from the film and then work on them in practice. So it’s a lot of conditioning, some film and individual work.”
Some of that conditioning and defensive improvement will be put to work in the Silver State Slam at McQueen High School. Reed will take on Lovelock today at 11 a.m. before facing Weston Ranch (Stockton, Calif.) at 5 p.m. On Friday, the Raiders will play Foothill (Las Vegas) at 8:30 a.m. and Clark (Las Vegas) at 1 p.m.
While the girls’ focus during the Silver State Slam will be on film break down and conditioning, Ramirez also has other things to worry about during the two weeks off. With Reed High closed for remodeling, Ramirez must find another home for the Raiders for practices during the break.
“It’s hard for us right now because we don’t have Reed. Reed is shutdown, so we can’t practice in our gym,” Schopper-Ramirez said. “So part of it is just finding gyms so we can have a practice. So right now we’re kind of gym-hopping. Today we practiced at Dilworth, but I have to find places for all next week. It all depends on what is available.”
Aside from the minor gym dilemma, Schopper-Ramirez said that the two-week hiatus doesn’t allow for much wiggle room from the typical league routine.
“We play the Tuesday we get back from break, so you can’t take too much time on conditioning and other things. You have to start focusing on the next team,” she said. “We play North Valleys and Manogue when we get back, so we have to start talking about what we are going to prepare to do for those teams.”