Successful teams have a similar mindset. Phrases like: play like a family, pay attention to the details and trust the process are commonly repeated.
For the Arvin Bears' women's basketball team, while nearly everyone contributes, there's one senior who stands tall. "She's never going to give you 50%," senior shooting guard Raleigh Tarver on her teammate Brianna Mendez. "She's always going to give you that 100%."
Seriously, Mendez goes hard on *every* play. "Everyone who gets in my way I want to bulldoze them down," Mendez bluntly said.
As Arvin's top scorer, she's helped lead the Bears to a perfect start in league but this team's success goes deeper. "I can't even remember," Mendez said in response to when Arvin's last league loss took place.
We looked it up. The Bears haven't dropped a league game in more than two years (February 2015 vs. BCHS) and part of this year's success--comes from a change in Mendez's game. "Not a lot of posts can shoot from the outside and I think that's one thing she brings to the table a lot because people aren't expecting her to shoot," said senior point guard Catti Sydney.
While other team's might not expect it, Mendez says the bigger shock is seeing her shot drop. "Because I never shoot threes and they end up going in," Mendez said.
Taking more shots, Mendez is just happy to have the opportunity. Double jaw surgery sidelined her for more than a month. "When I was on the bench it was really horrible not being able to share those moments with my team but I was there every game supporting them," she said.
Now that she's back on the court, she's focused on doing whatever it takes to help her family on the floor. "At the end of the day it's not just about basketball," said Sydney on the team's mentality. "However far we make it that's what we're taking away from this."
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