Girl’s Basketball Starts League Play Strong

Kelsey Williams

The women’s basketball team started off their season strong by dominating Acalanes, 84-57. The team continued their winning streak from then on, aside from a couple hiccups against Dougherty Valley, 45-49, and Campolindo, 53-55. Both games were heartbreaking losses. Miramonte was up during the game against Campo, but ended up losing by only one basket. Although the team was disappointed about the two losses, they made up for the games by crushing Las Lomas, 67-14, Dublin, 64-38, Alhambra, 67-22, and Ygnacio Valley, 66-19.

Miramonte fought back against Dougherty Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 1, hoping to get their revenge, but came up short in the last quarter, 53-72. Dougherty Valley won on a 20 to 4 run in the fouth quarter, meaning that they scored 20 points for every four points we scored. Alyssa Johanson ‘11 was on fire, scoring 23 points, which was nearly half the team’s total. Liza Katz ‘11 suffered from an elbow to her eye in the first half, but, fortunately, did not have to get stitches.

The team has an overall team record of 17-3 and a league record of 5-2, so far.

Miramonte hosted the West Coast Jamboree Tournament Dec. 28-30. As the host, Miramonte set up the bracket for the tournament in a way that allowed them to play very challenging games, but they did not make it to the championship game.

“We set up the brackets so we could have the most competitive schedule,” said co-captain Katz. “We weren’t focused as much on winning the tournament, though that’d be nice, as we were on playing good teams and improving as a team.”

The team has not only improved their skills since the start of the season, but has also enhanced their team chemistry, which has been their strength from the start. Under the leadership of co-captains Katz and Johanson, the team maintains the peace, and there have been no issues of superiority among the players as experienced in previous years.

“Alyssa and I balance each other out,” said Katz. “There is equal leadership on the court and players can approach us in different ways because of our different leadership styles.”

The team faced a setback when Katz developed mononucleosis and could not play for three weeks.

“We were lacking leadership without a senior point guard,” said Johanson. “Her presence on the court is beneficial, especially in the fourth quarter, because she has experience with handling the pressure.”

However, Carly Gill ‘13 helped the team during Katz’s absence when she stepped up as point guard. Katz’s recovery and return to the court has helped the team.

“We felt a new sense of energy with Liza’s return, especially in the Dublin game because there was a lot of intensity,” said Johanson.

The team is feeling the loss of last year’s seniors when it comes to rebounding, but Coach Kelly Sopak focuses on what they have instead of what they do not have. The team makes up for their lack of height in speed, shooting, and pressing. Other teams should be nervous about Miramonte’s aggressive press as well their ability to come back in the fourth quarter.

“We have a fast, deep rotation, so we tire less than other teams,” said Katz.

As the only seniors, Katz and Johanson are key players, but unlike previous years, a different player steps up and contributes to the team’s success each game.

The women’s basketball team will push forward for the duration of the season in hopes of winning league and placing in NCS.

“We are going to have to win a bunch of hard games on the road if we want league since we lost to Dougherty and Campo at home. So we’ll see,” said Katz.

Travel to Las Lomas tonight to support the team and watch them crush their opponent!