Boys and girls basketball teams competed on Jan. 16 a week after Basketball Opening Night against league rivals Lynbrook Vikings. The MVHS teams triumphed, with the boys winning 53-36 and the girls 55-31.
MVHS students piled into the gym to watch yet another intense basketball matchup. On their home turf, the Matadors looked to add yet another win to their undefeated league record, while pleasing the home crowd.
The Vikings started the game strong, moving the ball on offensive and converting turnovers into easy fast break points. Despite a 6-0 run by the Vikings, the Matadors began to gain some ground with senior Andy Wang’s shooting from downtown. Wang went 4-7 on threes in the game. By the end of the half, the score was 28-17 Vikings.
Allowing only eight points in the second half, MVHS’ defense completely shut down the LHS offense, while generating points for themselves on defensive turnovers. MVHS prevailed by a score of 53-36.
Junior Golan Gingold makes a hesitation move to beat his defender. Gingold’s ball handling created scoring opportunities for MVHS.
On the first possession of the second half, the Vikings looked strong. However, after an intense defensive effort by Lee, MVHS began their comeback.
During a scuffle for the ball, LHS sophomore Jon Liang was hit and could be seen kneeling with blood dripping from his nose. Trainer Marie Gishifu responded and provided the player with the care he needed. Meanwhile, the custodial crew cleaned up the blood while a section of the crowd cheered and chanted “MVP” and “We Want Mop”.
Senior Robert Lee drives to the rim off of the pick by junior Golan Gingold. Lee finished the game with nine points.
After a short intermission caused by the injury, the game continued, and MVHS came out strong, putting away their open shots and snagging offensive rebounds to put back any misses. By the end of the third, MVHS had gained the lead by a score of 34 to 31.
Junior Andrew Ding makes a pass in to senior Brandon Hudson, who puts the ball away with a hesitation baseline layup. The Matadors were able to move the ball and get it into the paint for easy points.
The Matadors held their ground for the rest of the game, only allowing five points in the fourth quarter. Stellar offensive play by senior Ashish Keshan along with Lee and Wang aided the team on their path to victory.
Five seconds into the game senior Christina Jennings scored with a lay-up. As the first quarter progressed, MVHS continued the fast pace. From two points, they moved to four, six, eight, ten points against LHS’ one. The first quarter ended 14-3.
At 7:45 p.m., after the boys basketball game, girls basketball faced the Vikings as well. Though the team saw many rebounds, the offense, supported by their strong defense, kept MVHS’ lead increasing throughout the game.
In the first half, senior Hannah Pollek follows through with a shot after an assist from senior Christina Jennings. Jennings and Pollek, as team captains, led the team and scored consistently throughout the game. The Vikings sped up in the second quarter and scored 15 points, but MVHS scored 16 points and maintained the lead. By halftime, MVHS was up 30-18.
Junior Julie Chen and freshman Joyce Chen pass back and forth, evading the Viking defense. Both sisters’ multiple fast breaks and consistent free throws helped secure a game-long lead for MVHS. One of Julie’s fast breaks ended the third quarter 45-24. Gaining 15 points total, the team played strongest during the third quarter.
Team captain senior Kaisa Rautiainen takes a jump shot and sophomore Shivalika Chavan gets the rebound, following it up with one of her own. Earlier in the season, the team struggled to establish specific roles, but after months of practice and playing, they defeated LHS due to smooth passes and quick shots.
The Matadors played until the last seconds of the games with an offensive rebound by junior Kirthi Gomatam in the last three minutes and another two-pointer by senior Krithika Rao in the last forty seconds. In the last six seconds, LHS missed the buzzer beater and MVHS won 55-31.
Boys basketball’s next home game is on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Girls basketball’s next home game is Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 7:00 p.m.
Co-reporting by Alina Abidi, Pranav Iyer and Aditya Pimplaskar
Girls basketball GIFs by Justin Kim