El Estoque

Girls basketball takes on team from Australia

Om Khandekar

Preparing for their season, the MVHS girls basketball team faced more than just their usual slate of pre-season matchups. As a new experience for this lineup, they faced their first international opponent.

Instead of facing opponents from the Bay Area, on Dec. 13 MVHS faced Carey HS from Australia, and lost 38-48 after a CHS run in the fourth quarter and a stagnant MVHS effort throughout the game.

CHS won the tip-off to start the game, and throughout the first half kept the game within three points. According to senior Jessie Pao, the reason CHS was able to keep the score close was due to MVHS errors.

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CHS wins the opening tip against MVHS. This was the first time MVHS girls basketball played an international team. Photo by Om Khandekar.

“[Our defense] was sloppy and slow,” Pao said. “But we started picking it up again after I got subbed back in, and we kind of picked up the pace and attacked them more up front.”

At halftime, MVHS had fallen behind by a single point with the score at 17-18. At the start of the third quarter, the team came out with a renewed sense of energy. They stole or deflected the ball to start their next five possessions in the quarter to come up with a 21-18 lead. But their energy seemed to slip once again.

CHS capitalized on a series of MVHS turnovers, bringing the score back to a tie and eventually lead 24-32 at the end of the third. Senior Joyce Chen, the starting point guard who was sitting out the game due to an injury to her ankle, noted how the team seemed to have lost their intensity throughout the preseason due to injuries and key absences.

“It was very frustrating watching because when we played our alumni game we were a totally different team, and it’s just frustrating because we could be so much better,” Chen said.

MVHS came out with a renewed effort, and the fourth quarter started with a flurry of three pointers by MVHS that leveled the score out to 33-33.

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“We started scoring a little bit more and during 4th quarter, we had that spurt of energy where we were just hitting three’s and we had really good defense,” Sophomore Ashley Liu said. “After that, it just fell apart and we didn’t really have anything after that.”

CHS took a commanding lead after some missed MVHS field goals, ending the game with a final score of 38-48. Despite the loss, Chen still believes MVHS will have a better showing as the season goes on.

“I think we are a team of great [players] and we have a ton of potential to do great this season,” Chen said. “We just have to put in the work to get there.”

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MVHS and CHS players pose for a photo. MVHS gave CHS gift bags after the conclusion of the game. Photo by Om Khandekar.

MVHS girls basketball will play Saratoga HS next, on Jan. 2 in the MVHS main gym.