Varsity Girls Basketball defeats Santa Clara 51-33 to kick off the season

Matadors win the sportsmanship game, the first game of the season

Sophomore+Clara+Fan+protects+the+ball+from+an+SCHS+defender+as+she+attempts+to+score+points+in+the+third+quarter.+Photo+by+Manas+Kottakota

Manas Kottakota

Sophomore Clara Fan protects the ball from an SCHS defender as she attempts to score points in the third quarter. Photo by Manas Kottakota

Jason Chu, Manas Kottakota, and Michelle Zheng

“Five-peat!” – the members of the Varsity Girls Basketball and Santa Clara High School shouted the chant after MVHS won 51-33 on Thursday, Nov. 17 in the sportsmanship game, which is the first game of the season. According to senior and guard Julianna Kimm, this chant referenced an inside joke between the two teams during their collaboration work session in the summer, celebrating MVHS’s fifth consecutive win against SCHS. 

Throughout the game, MVHS displayed strong defense, pressuring SCHS with full court press resulting in multiple turnovers. With a promising lead of 25-14 by halftime, MVHS maintained the lead throughout the game, finishing with a score of 51-33. Despite the strong performance against SCHS, Kimm is unsure of what to expect for the upcoming season as the team moved up to the De Anza League.

“We did move up in the league, so it is a little scary because all the girls are around our same level now,” Kimm said. “But I think we will do OK, as long as we keep working hard, keep going to the gym, conditioning and working out.”

In addition, Kimm says the team needs to work on its communication, which was lacking during the game as the Varsity team “[has] a lot of new players.” However, she believes that the team will be able to improve as the season progresses. 

“Sometimes we’re lacking a little bit [in] understanding the plays,” Kimm said. “But [then] again, that just comes with the games and getting adjusted to the Varsity team, especially with all the newcomers and having to catch them all up.”

Sophomore Kimika Shimazaki, who is playing in the Varsity team for the first time, agrees with Kimm that the players can improve their chemistry with time. Particularly in this game, Shimazaki believes it helped provide a great opportunity for her to fit in with the team, and also says that it was an important warm-up for them to get to know each other, combining their individual play styles. 

“I believe we played pretty good, but there’s probably [some] steps to go [to get] on a higher level since we’re in a new league this year, [which] I’m really excited for as well,” Shimazaki said. “[I hope we continue to] defend our house and keep on winning as much as possible.”