Varsity girls basketball wins first preseason game

Varsity girls basketball defeated Duarte High School 52-37 in its first preseason home game Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Duarte started off the first quarter by winning the tip-off and scoring a 3-pointer, but a steal by guard sophomore Kathy Tamashiro at 6:58 provided Walnut’s first two points. The Falcons kept their lead by scoring multiple free throws and jump shots. Later in the quarter, point guard junior Elisabeth Yick scored two points after making a steal. Point guard junior Joanne Chang made a free throw to end the first quarter 5-11. 

“I felt really good because my team came together and brought the score up together,” center junior Madison Alvarez said. “I realized that there were openings and decided to shoot the ball more, and I knew that the score was going up so I was pretty relieved.”

Walnut began the second quarter with multiple steals and a 2-pointer from small forward junior Angelica Tang in the first minute. Duarte made multiple two-point shots and steals until Tang scored another two-point shot from the center at 5:38. Walnut was able to tie the game when Alvarez scored three two-point shots and two additional free throws. However, Duarte scored four additional points in the final seconds, finishing the quarter 18-22. 

“We were down by a few points, but we were able to pull off in the second half because the other team got tired and we played harder and we had more heart playing,” Chang said. “We were able to pull through because [varsity coach Lori Huckler] made a pep talk about how we need to focus on the game since we were down. So when we came back onto the court, there was a different mentality, and the team bonded and improved the chemistry.”

In the last two quarters, Walnut scored four consecutive 2-pointers shots with three by guard senior Katerina Su. Duarte began to fall behind as Walnut scored more two-point shots from Chang, Alvarez and Su. Yick and guard senior Tiffany Ho were able to successfully steal and rebound multiple missed passes and shots from Duarte, allowing Walnut to finish off the game 52-37.

“I think the highlight of the game was when we were really down in the beginning, but our team pushed through and we got back up and we ended up winning the game,” said point guard freshman Kaylana Viray. “We had one leader, [Su], who was able to help us out by looking for open spots to shoot the ball and helped us overall when she controlled the game and situation.”

By Matthew Au, Sports editor
Photo by Tristan Gonzalez