A crowd slowly started forming in the bleachers of the gym after the JV basketball teams played in the third quad game of the season. Fans of the Matadors arrived to the news that the girls varsity team would not be playing in the quad game, but that their game had been shifted to the previous day.
“Two of our starters are in leadership and [they]had to go to a leadership conference, which was why we rescheduled the game,” sophomore Silpa Ajjarapu said. “[Our opponents] are really good offensively and defensively and we really didn’t want to risk losing what they’d [bring]to the game.”
Rescheduling the game led to a smaller turnout in the crowd, but even under such conditions, the girls varsity team successfully won against HHS, with a final score of 51 – 31. After a string of losses against schools like Lynbrook HS, Milpitas HS and Los Altos HS, the team put in their best effort to refine their techniques and defense at practice. Sophomore and varsity captain Ashley Liu commented on how the team will continue to overcome issues like this in the future.
“I get that [our players]have after school stuff,” Liu said. “But it’s only for this season where [they]have to work super hard for basketball and [they]should probably put more commitment.”
MVHS started off by earning a three point advantage against HHS, leading to an overall score of 5 – 2 within the first one and a half minutes of the game. MVHS maintained aggressive play by blocking the shots from the other team.
Freshman Kelli Kosakura scored both of the points allocated on a rebound, which led to applause from the audience. Although HHS was quick to retaliate by with a three pointer and an extra point off a rebound, bringing the score close to a 7-6 , MVHS was able to maintain a steady buffer between HHS’ score and their own.
With a consistent stream of layups and additional points from rebounds, halftime ended with a score of 29 – 24. Smooth maneuvering and coordination from the entire team, a tricky three point shot by Liu and a slide which turned into a steal all ensured a strong start to the first half of the match.
“In the previous game, we weren’t playing to our potential,” Liu said. “I felt like during this game, we shot and rebounded a lot more. We worked a lot harder than we have in the past.”
The second half of the game welcomed plenty of shots for the team. Despite the ball often being stolen by the HHS players, the team was more on guard and played their best defensively and offensively.
The team successfully scored some rebounds by Liu and Baxter. Their coach, Sara Borelli, also brought the team’s spirit up by giving the team pep talks and trying to boost the team’s confidence.
“Our coach told us to come out ‘guns blazing’ [after the first half, but]we started to slow down a little bit during the second half,” Ajjarapu said. “After halftime we wanted to maintain the lead that we had so we continued what we did during first quarter and hit a couple of shots.”
Looking back at the game, Liu hopes that the team strengthens their bond by coming together, like on these occasions, to work hard and overall improve their playing and teamwork.
“I felt we really worked together [in preparation for this game],” Liu said. “If someone [made] a mistake, we wouldn’t yell at them, we [would]l back them up and help them. I think this was definitely one of the reasons why we became better.”