The Belen girls’ basketball team has long since blown past last season’s total of just one victory.
A good deal of the credit goes to two pair of sisters, often four fifths of the Eagles’ starting lineup.
Danilynn and Jaelynn Bob, along with Leigha and Jadarose Wright, form something of a sister act(s) for the Eagles. The four have been playing together for about five years, well before arriving at BHS.
“It’s fun because we all know how we play,” said Jaelynn Bob, a sophomore.
Jadarose Wright, also a sophomore, adds, “We’ve been playing together since sixth grade. We are practically family now.”
Playing together for so long has benefits.
“The chemistry on the court is pretty good — knowing where to go and knowing where she is going,” says Danilynn about her sister.
Leigha Wright, the oldest of the group as a junior, has a similar vibe with her sibling.
“It’s competitive at practice, but during games it’s really fun because we have semi-chemistry going on when we play,” Leigha said. “Once we cut and stuff, we have dime passes with each other.”
So far this season for BHS, Jaelynn and freshman Danilynn are first and third in scoring, respectively.
For the Wrights, Jadarose tops the Eagles in rebounds and assists, while Leigha is first in three-point shooting.
A pretty good compliment to Maesyn Lopez, the reigning District Player of the Year.
The Wright sisters also team up in track, while the Bobs have competed together in soccer, track and cross-country. That’s a lot of time together.
“We’re used to it,” Danilynn explains. “We don’t get tired of each other. We try to do the same sports each year so that it’s easier on my parents so they don’t have to drive around everywhere.”
But there are moments of conflict, says Jadarose.
“It gets pretty testy sometimes when we go back at each other during a game if something happens. That’s going to happen as siblings.”
When asked if they get mad at each other, Leigha laughs, “Yes. Yes, yeah.”
Those moments, however, are fleeting.
“We’re both wishing each other the best,” is how Leigha explains it. “We’re working towards the same thing. It’s a good thing to see a family member succeed in what they’re doing.”
For the most part, sibling rivalries are a non-issue.
“I just feel proud,” Jaelynn says of Danilynn. “We hang out with each other, too.”
The Bob and Wright siblings are just the opening act for the Belen basketball sister show. In the pipeline are three other sister pairings — Jhatziry and Joselyn Perez, Jordan and Chantel Ammons and Nayelie and Marely Ruiz-Zarate. The “Sister Act” sequel is on the way.
Mike Powers spent more than 40 years as a television news and sports anchor, mostly in the Albuquerque market. He has won numerous awards including New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year. He covers a wide range of sports, including the Valencia County prep scene.