Basketball: Girls’ motivation soars with victories against strong opponents

January 25, 2016 — by Frederick Kim and Jenny Qian

Following a successful preseason, the girls have progressed through the highly competitive De Anza league with a record of 12-6 through Jan. 21.

Following a successful preseason, the girls have progressed through the highly competitive De Anza league with a record of 12-6 through Jan. 21.

The girls achieved their most noteworthy victory on Jan. 12, as they defeated Palo Alto 42-39 at home. Paly was ranked eighth in CCS. During the first half, the Falcons trailed Palo Alto, later catching up in the second half by making adjustments to their defense. Senior captain and post Erin Norris led the team with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

“We all came prepared to play, and everyone contributed either on the court or through motivation on the bench,” said junior guard Natasha Ramakrishnan. “This was a nice redemption as we had a tough loss against them last year.”

Prior to the victory against Palo Alto, the team was also ranked 15th for two weeks among the teams based in the Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in the Mercury News rankings

The win against Palo Alto and high ranking were a good boost to the team’s morale after a 47-43 loss to Mountain View on Jan. 8. Having beaten Mountain View in preseason, the loss was hard for the girls, but they were able to learn from their mistakes in the game against Palo Alto.

On Jan. 19, the team fell to Los Gatos at home 50-43. In the beginning of the game, the girls were able to minimize the number of 3-pointers the Wildcats took, allowing the girls to lead in the first half. By the end of the third quarter, however, Los Gatos had caught up. With three minutes left in the game, the Falcons briefly regained the lead with two free throws by Norris and a put back by senior post Eleni Spirakis. But the Falcons  were outscored 13-3 down the stretch.

“A lot of hard work went into this game, and we never gave up, which is what I love about the team,” said senior captain and point guard Nicole Prowse. “It was a really intense game, and we definitely played our hearts out.”

Earlier, the girls had won 54-41 against Gunn on Jan. 22, following a tough 60-53 loss against Wilcox on Jan. 15. The Falcons started strong as junior guard Aryana Goodarzi led the team with four 3-pointers. But during the fourth quarter, Wilcox was able to catch up with a few 3-pointers and drives to the basket.

“We turned over the ball a lot, and instead of getting back into the game, we let it get into our heads,” said Norris. “Wilcox began making more shots, and once they got the momentum, it was hard to stop them. We played hard in the beginning but were not able to pull it off in the second half.”

The girls defeated Los Altos 53-34 on Jan. 5 and won 45-25 against Leigh on Jan. 2. Although the two games were not as tough as others, they helped to warm up the girls for the tough games they faced later in the month.

The team was able to progress through the league with several victories after starting off the season strong with a 46-34 win against Notre Dame on Dec. 28. The win became a boosting factor which motivated the girls to work harder to defeat long-time rivals and try to win league.

“We play really well together because we are practically like sisters,” said senior guard Stephanie Ouchida. “Pushing the ball down the court and setting our own tempo for the game has helped us in our wins, and I am looking forward to a great season with the team.”

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