Girls basketball places fourth in Duarte tournament

Varsity girls basketball placed fourth in its annual Duarte High School tournament after losing to La Canada 43-49 Saturday, Dec. 9.

Center junior Theresa Lin led the Mustangs with 18 points, 18 rebounds and one steal, and small forward senior Yasmin Dabbous finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and two steals. Power forward junior Kaitlin Day followed with six points and four rebounds.

“Since it’s still early in the season, we’re still trying to figure out how we work together and our strengths and weaknesses, but for the most part, our team works well together. We just need to get more experience,” Day said. “I think it was important for us to understand that we had each others’ backs, and the other person is going to help you out if you can’t see something and they do.”

Both teams played full court defense in the first quarter, and the Spartans pulled ahead early, going on an 8-10 run until the 2:35 mark when Lin scored off an assist from shooting guard senior Allen Wong, tying the game temporarily. However, La Canada regained the lead after a three point play, ending the first 12-15.

“I’d say we started off really sloppy. We were making a lot of mistakes that we usually don’t make, and I think our head wasn’t really in it because usually we’re a lot stronger than how we played at the beginning,” power forward junior Alisa Koay said. “We were still ready to play, and we were willing to fight to get back. At halftime I think we we were upset, but we weren’t defeated.”

The Mustangs fell behind in the second quarter as La Canada continued its offensive streak by scoring consecutive points. Offensively, Walnut outscored the Spartans 9-2 in the last four minutes of the quarter and defensively held them at eight fouls, taking advantage of bonus free throws. At the 1:10 mark, point guard senior Reanna Mayo scored a three point shot, ending the half 24-30.

“Our defense has been lacking. We haven’t been pushing up on the ball, we haven’t had enough ball pressure [and] we’ve been making bad mistakes, but I think we can make up for all of that by just working together and making sure everybody stays involved,” shooting guard junior Annie Hwang said. “In the second half we got a lot slower and we weren’t hustling as much.”

La Canada doubled its lead in the third quarter by making rebounds and capitalizing on Walnut’s turnovers. In the last quarter, the Mustangs limited La Canada to six points as Lin led Walnut with nine points to drive the gap back to six points, but they were unable to gain a lead by the end of the game.

“We had a better mentality in the fourth quarter. We really wanted to win and we’ve been preparing for this tournament. Because we struggled in the first three, in the fourth quarter we were trying really hard to win the game,” forward freshman Madison Alvarez said. “The mentality for the first three quarter just wasn’t really there. The team needs to gain confidence in their ability, to take those shots that they know they can make.”

By Haixin Guo, Copy lead
Photo by Haixin Guo