Girls’ Basketball Lights Up the Scoreboard

Brian Friel

Frustrated with the recent slumps of Miramonte sports? Wishing there was a powerhouse program to which you could pledge your loyal support? Well fret no more fellow sports aficionados, because the Miramonte girls’ basketball team is on fire.

The Lady Mats are 17-3, undefeated in league play, and currently riding an eight-game winning streak. But what makes the team so special is that they aren’t just vanquishing average opponents; they are consistently rising to the occasion and defeating highly ranked teams in the game’s final seconds. Five of their last seven games have been decided by five points or less.

The streak began on Jan. 8 with a 49-42 upset over Dougherty Valley. Four days later, the Lady Mats defeated Campolindo in what easily was the most exciting game in recent memory. The Lady Mats battled the Cougars for three overtimes until point guard Liza Katz ‘11 converted a game-winning layup with four seconds left.

“That game was crazy,” said Katz. “I’ve never been in anything like it. It seemed like every time we would score they would come right back. It was just back and forth.”

The Lady Mats then defeated juggernauts St. Mary’s and Dublin with down-to-the-wire finishes, prompting some local sports writers to nickname them “The Cardiac Kids.” Clutch fourth quarter shooting from forward Alyssa Johanson ‘11 and center Stephanie Golden ‘10 proved to be the deciding factor in both games.

“We’ve had a lot of stressful games, but at the same time, they’ve been really fun and exciting,” said Johanson. “Everybody has a strong drive to win and we are all playing really well together.”

With all of their recent success, the Lady Mats have climbed from eighth to fourth in the Contra Costa Times East Bay Poll, and have taken an early command of the highly competitive DFAL.

“All of us are really motivated but at the same time we’re all having a lot of fun. Our new coach has been great, and I think our team chemistry is one of our biggest strengths,” said Katz.

The Lady Mats played Dougherty Valley on Feb. 2 but results were not available as of press time. The team will look to continue their dominance today at Campolindo as they face-off in a pivotal rematch with the Cougars.

“The Campo game is definitely going to be intense, but I think we just need to go into it knowing that we can beat them. We just have to listen to our coach and execute,” said Johanson.

Despite their great season, the Lady Mats have not had nearly the amount of support they deserve.

“We definitely want to get a lot of fans out there to support us,” said Johanson.