Girls’ basketball: Falcons lose tightly contested league games

February 13, 2017 — by Jenny Qian

With the season coming to an end, the Falcons have dropped a series of hard-fought league games while continuing to prepare to defend their Division III  CCS title. As of Feb. 12, the team had a 4-6 league record but has already qualified for postseason because they have won over half of their games and are in the more competitive A League this year.

“The past few games have been really hard on us because they all ended up being such close matches,” senior guard Rachel Won said. “We have been practicing a lot of late game situations where we need a basket, and everyone has been stepping up and really concentrating during practices to get better.”

The Falcons suffered a tough 48-38 loss against Mountain View on Feb. 11. Struggling to box out and successfully execute plays, the girls trailed the Spartans in the first two quarters, but bounced back in the second half. Down 18 points in the fourth quarter, the Falcons clawed back into the game with aggressive defense and offensive energy. With only 90 seconds left in the game, the girls were only down eight points but were unable to close the gap in the end.

The team was led by senior point guard Rachel Davey, who had 11 points and four steals, while sophomore post Kirstin Kruka grabbed 14 rebounds and scored eight points. Senior guard Jenny Qian had six points and five rebounds and senior post Yianna Spirakis pitched in four points and four rebounds.

“It was a really tough loss because we had already won against them twice,” Won said. “In the end, it came down to not making easy layups and the lack of communication on the court that really hurt us.”

Earlier, the Falcons dropped a close game to Gunn on Feb. 8, losing 57-51. The two teams were head to head in points each quarter, even tying 49-49 with 3 minutes left in the last quarter, but the Falcons fell short.

The girls smoothly switched from man to zone defense during the game and guarded aggressively against their physical and quick footed opponents.

Davey played tirelessly and poured in 15 points with five assists, while junior post Harshini Ramaswamy had 10 points and Qian had eight points. Senior guard Aryana Goodarzi and freshman Anika Prasad followed with six points each.

“We played a lot better than we did the first time we went against them,” Davey said. “We had some defensive breakdowns and a lot of possessions without rebounds that cost us in the end.”

On Feb. 1, the girls hosted Los Gatos in another tight match, eventually losing 47-45. The Falcons had trouble rebounding in the first half but came back by holding their rivals to only two points and scoring 11 in the third quarter.

Forcing the Cats to play on their left-hand side and executing offensive plays under duress, the Falcons tied 45-45 with only 2 seconds left on the clock. But the Falcons were unable to get into overtime as the Cats executed a sideline play, scoring a basket right at the buzzer.

The close game was made possible by Ramaswamy, who led the team with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Kruka, who pitched in eight points and played aggressive defense.

“It was a really tough loss because we were so close in the end,” Kruka said. “But considering that they knew most of our plays, I think we played really well against them and it was an exciting game.”

Due to printing deadlines, the Falcon was unable to cover the game against Wilcox on Feb. 15.  The girls play their senior night against Palo Alto tonight on their home floor.

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