During their home opener on December 7, the Salt River High School (SRHS) Lady Eagles basketball team held a very special presentation right before the start of the game, which was against San Carlos High School. The SRHS players recognized the 2009–10 Lady Eagles basketball players, who won the state championship last school year. Their head coach, Shawn Lytle, presented the championship rings and plaques to the Lady Eagles players who were on that team, and also presented the large banner that now hangs in the SRHS gym with each player’s name on it. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Representative Deanna Scabby was present, and the Lady Eagles gave her an autographed SRHS basketball jersey.
Later that evening, the Lady Eagles won their game against San Carlos, 50-48.
Their record was 5-5 as of December 16. Also as of December 16, the SRHS Junior Varsity Lady Eagles were at 1-1; they played against the Fort Thomas Apaches for their second home game, losing 39-50, and in early December they played San Carlos and won their first game.
The SRHS Eagles boys basketball team was at 2 wins and 9 losses as of December 17.
“The situation this year is that we define the word ‘rebuilding’ for the Eagles basketball team,” said Jeff Duncan, head coach for the Eagles. The team is made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores, with one junior and one senior who has not had a lot of playing time on the court.
Right after the Lady Eagles wrapped up their play, the varsity boys team took to the court. The Eagles began the game with speed and were able to keep the game tied at halftime. Freshman Robert Norris led the Eagles in scoring through the first quarter. In the second half of the game, the Eagles came out flat and Fort Thomas scored several times, leaving the Eagles to play catch-up for the remainder of the game, with help from No.10 Daniel Carrillo and No.11 freshman Jon Hill.
Although the team has been getting beat up these past couple of months, Duncan said, with each game they are working on areas to improve.
“I am very proud of them. They keep up their grades, and with every game they play their hearts out. They are just a very young and inexperienced team,” said Duncan. He expects the team’s improvement and hard work to start paying off soon.
Duncan is also the SRHS assistant principal. He has coached basketball for more than 20 years at both the junior college and high school levels.