Recap: Lady Mats Basketball Take Fourth in State

Recap%3A+Lady+Mats+Basketball+Take+Fourth+in+State

Layne Estes, Staff Writer

With determination and heart, the Miramonte girls basketball team, led by captains Kaitlin Fenn ‘15, Sabrina Ionescu ‘16 and Keana Delos Santos ‘16, had a triumphant season- winning the North Coast Division III Championship, moving on to the Open Division for state.

The Matadors finished sixth in the nation and fourth in the state. The team concluded with victories over Pinewood High School and Saint Ignatius in the Open Division tournament. However, the Matadors lost to Saint Mary’s Stockton- the eventual Open Division champions- to end their season.

Displaying intense fight, the team defeated Bishop O’Dowd High School 72-66 in a flawless execution of play for the North Coast Section Championship title. Big plays by Clair Steele 18’ and others helped to secure the title for Miramonte. “It was a great experience to finally have beaten Bishop. They have always had a great program. It also meant a lot to have the 6th man come out and support us,” Elle Louie ‘17 said.

Throughout the years that he has been leading the Miramonte girls team, coach Kelly Sopak has made a positive impact on the overall success of the program. He has been coaching the Miramonte girls team for six years. “Kelly has us playing an up-tempo style which enables us to run and get out in front,” Louie said. “It allows us to push through our mistakes and make up with effort.”

The team lost five seniors last year, but have been able to rebound from that with the help of young talent on the team. “We all had to buy into the system to compensate for the loss of talent. It’s been really fun having young players on the team because they want to get better,” Ionescu said. With the team having four seniors next year, the Matadors will be even more of a threat than they have been in the past.