Varsity girls basketball fall 49-57 in first league game against Wilcox

Dickson Tsai

The Matadors stayed close but could not keep up with the Wilcox Chargers

The Matadors were waiting for a spark against the Wilcox Chargers at their first home game of the league season on Jan. 7. However, all the fouls the Matadors committed came back to bite them in the fourth quarter just as they were gaining momentum.

Alex Chiu goes up for a layup during a late fourth quarter push. MVHS dropped its first league game 49-57 to Wilcox on Jan. 7. Photo by Lisa Zhang.Forward senior Alex Chiu led the team with 25 points, but MVHS dropped its first league game 49-57 to the Chargers. Guards junior Steffanie Sum, who had 10 points, and senior Faria Tahir fouled out midway through the fourth quarter.

The Wilcox Chargers’ quickness caught the Matador defenders off-guard and kept them in foul trouble all night.

“[Foul trouble] takes you out of your game,” head coach Sara Borelli said. “You can’t play defense, you can’t start anything, because [the players] get paranoid about fouling, so they start shying away from playing.”

Despite the fouls, the Matadors kept themselves in the game early by capitalizing on the double bonus’ blessing in disguise: Wilcox’s missed free throws from the double bonus allowed the Matadors to have more offensive opportunities.

Weak Wilcox passes also led to fast-break baskets for MVHS, who was trailing just 11-12 by the end of the quarter.

“We have our moments where we’re very aggressive and we’re very non-aggressive and we play sloppy,” shooting guard senior Melissa Wang said. “When you see the steals, we’re playing proper defense.”

MVHS changed its defensive looks throughout the game, forcing the Chargers to shoot farther away from the basket, but Wilcox was able to get many second-chance opportunities off their offensive rebounds. However, in the second quarter, the Chargers’ three-point shooting lit up allowing them to amass a 26-21 lead prior to entering halftime.

“[Cook] did a good job penetrating some of the gaps that they had and we drew defenders,” Wilcox head coach Creighton Lane said. “In the crux of the game, we knocked those [three-point shots] down and they made a difference.”

The Matadors made a valiant effort to cut down the deficit after gaining a sense of urgency. They got help from the Chargers, as Wilcox began to play sloppily, but the Matadors missed a few open looks and layups that would have brought them back into the game.

“Right now, we are definitely picking up the intensity because we felt that we should have won the game,” Wang said. “We need to work on our defense and we understand our weaknesses and that’s what we’re trying to do — move on.”

The Matadors look to recover in their next league game at 7 p.m. when they visit the Palo Alto Vikings on Jan. 12.

Notes: Sum briefly left the game with a minor head injury  in the third quarter after colliding with a Wilcox player. She later returned to the game…At one point in the first quarter, MVHS out-fouled Wilcox 9-1


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