Varsity girls basketball beats Diamond Ranch

Varsity girls basketball defeated Diamond Ranch High School 61-35 in a league home game Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Walnut started off the first quarter by winning the tip-off and small forward freshman Jolleen Olia scoring a layup. The Mustangs led by scoring multiple layups and three-pointers. The Panthers’ offense made two steals; however, center sophomore Madison Alvarez made a layup to end the first quarter 10-5. 

“The first quarter, we were all pretty nervous because Diamond Ranch is known to be pretty good,”guard senior Tiffany Ho said. “But as we kept going, it got easier and we kept our momentum going. When I’m playing the game, my head is in the game. I’m not really focused on anything else.”

Walnut’s lead shrank as Diamond Ranch made two free throws and several steals against Walnut’s defense, but Alvarez and Olia were able to respond with several two-pointers. Two free throws made by Olia were unsuccessful, ending the second quarter with 16-12. 

“[My coach] said the day before, I had to get or aim for every rebound and just attack the glass to get second chance rebound points,” Olia said. “It’s a lot of pressure as a freshman to go out there and get everything against the bigger girls, but I took it on my shoulders to do what I had to do.”

In the last two quarters, Walnut scored 11 consecutive shots from Alvarez, Olia and guard senior Katerina Su. Diamond Ranch failed to make a comeback as Alvarez, shooting guard junior Audrey Caparez and Olia scored more points. In the final three minutes of the game, Olia and Su scored 10 points, ending the game 61-35.

“I’ve been in varsity for two years before this and based off of how they [Diamond Ranch] were the previous two years, our whole team [was] nervous because we thought they would do a lot better than expected,” Su said. “Collectively, we were all very happy and surprised by the outcome.”

By Alex Santiago, Staff Writer
Photo by Tristan Gonzalez