THROWBACK TUESDAY: Girls’ athletics expand program by adding basketball

Inaugural team to play city intramurals in half-court version of the game with specialized offensive, defensive players

George Guerra, staff reporter

Sighting her target, center Tina Powers, attempts to shoot over a jumping Crockett Cougar. The consistent scoring cager made good of this attempt and helped the Knights to an overwhelming 52-28 victory. Photo was originally published in the Oct. 17, 1974 issue of The Shield. (Howard Fomby)

For many years, girls have been denied the privilege of playing competitive basketball. “It is about time,” said junior Irma Gaitlan “that girls have a chance to compete in the non-contact sport of basketball.” Junior Anita Garza adds, “It seems as if we have been limited to just a few sports.”

Ms. Karen Moore, a teacher at Gullet Elementary School, has taken the new job of head coach of girls’ basketball. Ms. Moore, a graduate of Temple Junior College and Parsons College in Iowa, played basketball for both schools on an athletic scholarship.

Girls’ basketball, however, is different than boys’ basketball. Boys’ basketball is played with five men on the court, while in girls’ basketball, there are six girls on the court.

In boys’ basketball, all five men are allowed to shoot but, in girls’ basketball, three girls are on defense and three on offense. The girls on offense are the only ones allowed to shoot. The rules are the same in both sports except for in boys’ basketball it is open court play and in girls it is half court, which means, that no one is to pass or cross over the center line.

Girls basketball will be an intramural program its first year in Austin, then graduate to University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition, which means, girls basketball will only compete for city titles this year, next year they compete for district.

Ms. Moore’s team consists of 19 players with an average height of 5’7″. Ms. Moore says, “The team is doing well but we still have a lot of work to do.” The team holds practice sessions after school which consists mostly of running and conditioning. “In practice, we learn to dribble and gain control of the ball,” remarks Irma Gaitan,”And we also have a lot of fun.”

The boys think we don’t have style in shooting a basketball. They don’t react to girls’ basketball as being something normal.

— Anita Garza

“As far as requirements go, all a girl needs is a physical saying she is fit,” says Ms. Moore. All equipment used is paid for and furnished by the Austin Independent School District.

Ms. Moore was asked if she thought girls’ sports would be big. Ms. Moore responded, “Girls basketball is already big, the state of Texas is No. 2 and the state of Iowa is No. 1.”

As for the boys, they will just have to grin and bear it. “They think (boys) we don’t have style in shooting a basketball. They don’t react to girls’ basketball as being something normal,” says Anita Garza.

This story was originally published in The Shield on Sept. 19, 1974