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Girls’ basketball comes up short against Diamond Ranch

Girls’ basketball missed two potential game winning shots in the last minute against Diamond Ranch after failing to make a late game surge, losing 56-58 on Wednesday Feb. 5 at home.

Center senior Alena Koay filled the stat sheet with 27 points followed by power forward senior Kayta Echavez’s 17.

“Alena played so well. In my opinion she did the best on the team. I know she was getting fouled a lot but she kept on trying and I know that really upset her. The refs weren’t calling any fouls and her effort was really appreciated from the team,” shooting guard sophomore Chloe Hsu said. “Katya did really well too. Those two girls were the reason we were in the game, they hustled, got offensive and defensive rebounds so they put it back up for us.”

In the first quarter, both teams exchanged baskets until the last minute of the period when Diamond Ranch went on a 5 point streak, creating a 16-20 lead. Within the third minute of the second quarter, Diamond Ranch’s momentum continued with a 11-4 run, which added to its lead, 20-31. Furthermore, Koay scored Walnut’s next seven points to bring Diamond Ranch’s lead to four, 29-33.

“We can’t really focus on a lead they have. The mentality you should always have is it’s always a tied game. You should always want the lead. It’s really hard to because the scoreboard is always there and you see it. You have to focus on your game,” center junior Amber Wong said.

In the third quarter, Walnut had trouble defending shooting guard senior Kristeen Sheriff, allowing her to score nine more points and ending the quarter 45-51.

“The deficit wasn’t too frustrating. We tried to stay positive because we still knew we had a chance to win.. You need to tell your teammates to keep playing because when you’re out there the encouragement makes you want to play harder,” point guard senior Hayley Masuda said.

Switching the defense to a press, Walnut kept Diamond Ranch down to scoring only seven points in the fourth. With two minutes left, point guard senior Corie Pitpit made a 3-pointer which brought the lead of the game down to two. Additionally, Koay visited the stripe and knocked down two important free throws to tie the game 56-56.

“[After tying], I felt pretty good. I thought we were going to win because we had all the momentum. Because we were trailing most of the time, it’s always good to see that you have a chance to actually win,” power forward Audrey Hsu said. “We had all the momentum into getting it tied. It should’ve carried over to a win.

With 20 seconds left, Diamond Ranch’s Sheriff scored a layup to make the score 56-58. Off a timeout, shooting guard senior Brittney Yee had an open shot, but couldn’t score. After a missed free throw by Diamond Ranch and 3.3 seconds was left, Echavez missed a game winning potential shot, while unsuccessfully drawing a foul.

“[I think that lacked the most] was the lack of heart and the lack of effort. We went into the game think we were going to win, but we didn’t. That kind of showed on the court, on offense. We we’re really slow and on defense we weren’t aggressive,” said shooting guard senior Brittney Yee.

By Jeffrey Tran, Staff Writer


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