Article via ThurstonTalk
By Grant Clark
South Puget Sound Community College women’s basketball coach Michael Moore preaches a relentless, fast-paced, defensive-minded brand of play.
Francisco, a 2019 Capital High School graduate, will get her chance to excel on the court under Moore’s watch this upcoming season as she makes the transition into the collegiate ranks.
“I’ve always had the goal of playing basketball in college,” said the 5-foot-4 Francisco. “South Puget Sound was really a great fit for me. I just want to see how far I can go.”
Francisco joins former Tenino standout Kaylee Schow and Charlie Ashe, who helped Wahkiakum High School to an impressive 25-2 record and a third-place finish at the 2B state tournament last year, in this year’s incoming South Puget Sound freshmen class.
“Angelica is a lighting quick guard that can lock people up on the defensive end which corresponds to our program philosophy of defense first,” Moore said. “She has the ability, both on and off the ball, to be in the right place at the right time. She also has an untapped offensive game that we are both excited to further develop.”
While defense supersedes all at South Puget Sound under Moore, he does know how to develop someone into a scorer. Just turn to last year for proof as the Clippers featured the Northwest Athletic Conference’s second-leading scorer in sophomore Trinity Betoney, who averaged 21.6 points a contest before becoming the first player in program history to be named NWAC West Region Most Valuable Player.
“Angelica has been on our radar since early in the fall of her junior year. I have followed her development and know that she is a hard-working player that deserves a chance to play college ball,” Moore said. “Early in (last year’s high school) season, Angelica quickly caught our attention with her overall skill set as well as the way she treated and interacted with her teammates.”
Francisco has been proactive in improving her play this summer to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Right after graduation, Francisco dove right into preparation for next basketball season. Countless hours on the court followed, including a lengthy road trip to California with her travel squad to play in a series of tournaments.
“The goal this summer was to improve every aspect of my game,” Francisco said. “I didn’t really have anything that I focused on. I just knew if I was going to play in college, I was going to have to get better.”
One thing that Francisco already has down is the defensive mindset the Clippers look to execute.
“I started playing basketball when I was four and have always really loved playing defense,” Francisco said. “I want the game to be fast, and South Puget Sound really plays the way I like to play.”
Interestingly, this upcoming season will mark the first time in quite a while Francisco will have teammates who are also in her class.
Last year at Capital, she was the only senior on a team that advanced to the 3A West Central District tournament. It was the same scenario for her during her junior season as she was the only Cougar in her class on the varsity in consecutive years.
That won’t be the case in her first college season, and Francisco has already been in communication with future teammates Schow and Jasmine Griffin, a Shelton grad who is a transfer from Grays Harbor College.
“Right after we knew we were going to play together we started texting each other,” Francisco said. “We want to play together as much as possible this summer to get comfortable with each other.”
Which means whenever Moore opens up the South Puget Sound gymnasium this summer, Francisco and Schow have typically been first through the door.
“They have been coming to open gyms and I am excited about what I am seeing from them this far,” Moore said. “The first year in transition from high school to college varies from player to player. I am confident that Angelica will adjust quickly to the speed of the college game. She will face challenges, learn, grow and adapt throughout the ups and downs of the season.”