Coach Anthony Brown is in his first year coaching the Ontario girls basketball team. Brown previously played basketball at Eastern Oregon University. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

ONTARIO – The seniors on the Ontario girls basketball team have been playing hoops together since middle school. 

Now, they have one goal: finish hard. 

The girls are friends on and off the court, said varsity coach Anthony Brown. 

“There’s chemistry there,” said Brown. “We’re going to try to take that to the next level.”

Last year the lady Tigers finished with an overall record of 6-20, with two wins and four losses in league play.The Lady Tigers, though, are not focused on last season.

“That doesn’t matter – it’s in the past,” said senior Sydney Murray. 

The team is turning the page, added teammate Isabelle Esquivel.

“We have a new coach and a better connection than last year,” said Esquivel, a senior.

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This year’s team has eight seniors and three juniors. 

The key to success, said Brown, will be building on defense. 

“We want them playing hard and fast and scoring early,” said Brown, whose goal is to make it to the postseason.

He also said he wants to raise the team’s profile.

Brown is in his first year as a coach at OHS. He played basketball at Eastern Oregon University from 2010 to 2013, so La Grande, naturally, is one of the teams he wants the Tigers to beat. 

“We want to make sure they have fun and win some games,” added assistant coach Nancy Menges.

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