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Lady Generals dominant to start SSL play

The Shafter High Lady Generals basketball team has enjoyed some success the past few years, with this year's campaign no different, as they head into SSL play with an 11-5 record, 2-0 in the SSL.

The squad, coached by Shawn Pennell and his staff, have been one of the best teams in the SSL for the past few seasons, with a co-championship last year, sharing the title with McFarland.

One of the "benefits" of having such success, though, is the system that the CIF has in place that places teams in different divisions when it comes playoff time.

The CIF has "rewarded" them with placing them with teams two and three times their size. The past couple of years the Lady Generals have been up against powerhouses such as Bakersfield and Frontier high schools. But Shafter is getting better for the experience and have been improving their record each year. they have come to be viewed at the same level as those teams that they used to look up at in the rankings.

The Lady Generals are currently ranked #17 out of 127 teams in the Central Section, and ranked #4 in Kern County, including all of the divisions. Shafter is 11-5 overall, with three of their losses to teams that are State-ranked. They are 2-0 in the early SSL season, outscoring Chavez and Taft by a combined score of 128-41.

The team won their own basketball tournament and also finished in third place in the Arvin Holiday Showcase, with a win over Centennial, who is currently ranked in the top ten in the entire section.

Pennell said, "This is also with a fairly young team, so this group could be looking at really big things before they are done."

The squad includes only four seniors, with six sophomores, a junior and a freshman. The starting lineup is three sophomores, a freshman and a junior.

"These girls have been a joy to coach and I can't wait for them to reach their potential."


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