Girls basketball: Tough defense results in victory over Homestead

Ruba Shaik

Matadors trail in first quarter but quickly overtake the Mustangs and maintain lead throughout rest of the game.

The Matadors started off the league season strong with a win against Homestead High

Junior Kaisa Rautiainen jumps up for the rebound at the end of the third quarter. Assistant coach Martin Jennings believes the rebound rate is something the team can work on for future games. Photo by Lydia Seo.
Junior Kaisa Rautiainen jumps up for the rebound at the end of the third quarter. Assistant coach Martin Jennings believes the rebound rate is something the team can work on for future games. Photo by Lydia Seo.

School on Jan 10. The game, in which the Matadors displayed a strong offense and an even stronger defense, ended with a score of 55-39.

The first quarter began slow. Thirty seconds in, the Mustangs managed to score their first basket. Within the first minute HHS made two free throws. Senior Stephanie Jennings scored the first two points for the home team. The Matadors got in three more points, but due to many fumbled passes and fast turnovers the Matadors were trailing at the end of the quarter by four points.

The Matadors started to pick up the pace halfway into the second quarter. Senior Pranuthi Kanneganti managed to tie the score and senior co-captain Stephanie Jennings followed this up quickly with another basket breaking the tie with the Mustangs and making the score 11-9. Following the tie breaker, co-captain senior Jacqueline L. Yee scored the first three-pointer of the game. The second half of the quarter featured both a strong offense and defense with the Matadors garnering 12 points within the last three minutes. With 30 seconds left in the second quarter, senior Jackie K. Yee scored a three-pointer from across the court, ending the period with the Matadors in the lead.

MVHS remained ahead of HHS for the rest of the game. Head Coach Sara Borelli believes that their execution of their previously planned strategy is what won them the game.

“I think we did excellent,” Borelli said. “I think we played a really tough defense, we had talked about that in pre-game, we had talked about playing defense, and I was trying to tell them, we should play defense, that’s what’s going to win games for us.”

The last quarter began with the score 37-26. Due to aggressive play by the Mustangs, the Matadors were fouled 11 times in the last quarter. The numerous successful free throws further increased the difference between the Matadors and the Mustangs. At the end of the quarter, the Matadors achieved victory with a score of 54-39.

“I think they did a good job of handling the pressure,” assistant coach Martin Jennings said. “They made some nice shots, and they were pretty good at the free throw line.”

Although Jennings and Yee agree that the team needs to work on their turnovers and pressing, they feel that the players improved in their communication.

“I thought we played well as a team,” Yee said. “We were vocal.”