Girls’ basketball: Falcons hope to be healthier for CCS

February 11, 2020 — by Kevin Sze and Alex Wang

The girls are trying to close out their season strong, but injuries have plagued the team. They have already qualified for CCS after a strong preseason.


The girls’ basketball team beat Cupertino 38-26 on Jan. 28, lost 46-39 to Los Gatos on Jan. 31 and lost 44-39 to Palo Alto on Feb. 4. Though the team’s overall record sits at 12-9, their 3-6 league record places them fifth in the De Anza League. 

For both of their recent losses, junior guard Kaitlyn Yu said that the team kept the games close for the first three quarters, but lost in the fourth quarter. 

  One reason was the team’s lack of depth. Their two star players, senior forward Anika Prasad and junior guard Jane Loo, are out with a concussion and an ACL injury respectively, and sophomore forward Amarangana Tyagi has been sidelined with a knee injury, only returning to practice Monday. The lack of rotation players has caused the starters to be too tired to keep up with the opponents by the end of the game.

“Injuries have been tough because they have been following us since sophomore year,” Prasad said, “but we are used to it.”

One issue that coach Danny Wallace is working with the team on is boxing out and rebounding, Yu said. Earlier in the season, the team was effective at getting defensive rebounds, but now often lack energy at the end of games. Consequently, their opponents have been able to grab offensive rebounds and turn them into easy layups.

Still, rebounding has only been a minor issue in an otherwise strong defense that has “allowed the team to prove itself to tough teams,” Prasad said.

Another aspect of their game that the girls are working on is making the most of each possession. 

“We are more focused on driving into the basket and moving the ball a lot,” Prasad said.

The Falcons have already qualified for CCS because of their stellar 9-3 run in the preseason; teams need to win at least six games in the preseason to qualify for the CCS tournament.

The girls played Wilcox on Feb. 11 (The Falcon was unable to cover this game due to printing deadlines), and remaining on the girls’ schedule are tonight’s game against the Lynbrook Vikings, and one against the Los Altos Eagles on Feb. 18. The team beat Wilcox in a matchup earlier this year but lost games to Lynbrook and Los Altos.

Besides the matchup against Wilcox, which would help determine the team would be back in the De Anza League next year, Lynbrook is also an important game to the team, Yu said, because it is their senior night game. They are hoping to win to celebrate the high school careers of Prasad, who will be playing basketball at Carnegie Mellon University next year, as well as two other seniors, center Ella Parr and forward Ranna Zahabi.

As for their expectations for CCS, Yu said that she hopes that they can win in the semifinal round, especially with the help of Prasad who hopes to be back by the quarterfinals. Loo, on the other hand, is out for the season.

“Every year so far, we’ve gone into semifinals and lost,” Yu said, “but we are trying to break that trend this year.”