Women’s Basketball places third in DV Winter Classic

Karen Wang and Pranav Chillappagari

Dougherty Valley’s Varsity Women’s Basketball kicked off their season by finishing in third place at the Dougherty Valley Winter Classic, setting an optimistic tone for the rest of the season.

Round 1:

The Wildcats won their first game against Skyline, 70-48, on Dec. 1, 2016, setting an optimistic mood for the remainder of the tournament.

The Wildcats were off to a slow start in the first quarter, with the ball going to Skyline after the tip-off. But in the last two minutes, the Wildcats made a 9 to 4 run, notably with senior Alyssa Cruz scoring a three-pointer. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 17-13.

The Wildcats’ energy picked up significantly in the second quarter, which Head Coach Doug Vanderhorst marked as a turning point for the Wildcats.

“In the second half … we made up a lot of ground in a three minute stretch.”

Senior Vanessa Fukuchi made two three-pointers, and Cruz continued to dominate, making one. By the end of the second quarter, the Wildcats had the lead with a score of 32-21.

The Wildcat’s strong momentum continued into the third quarter with junior Amisha Kambath making a layup just 10 seconds in.  The score ended at 55-28.

With their comfortable lead heading into the fourth quarter, sophomores Megan Zink and Sahana Samra were put on the court for a chance to play and gain experience.

Halfway through the quarter, the Wildcats were given a technical foul due to inappropriate behavior by Skyline. This led to junior Maddie Taylor scoring five out of six free throws, further cementing Dougherty’s lead. The game ended in overwhelming victory for the Wildcats, with 70-48 as the score.

After the game, Vanderhorst noted that he was happy with the win, but the Wildcats still had much room for improvement.

“Rebounds are a big thing to work on. We’ll almost always be smaller than the teams we’re playing, so it’s a challenge.”

Round 2:

Dougherty fell to the defending champion, Berkeley, 60-40, in the second round of the tournament.

Going into the game, Vanderhorst noted that he was excited for the challenge

“Berkeley has one of the best basketball programs in Northern California. This is a great opportunity to challenge the girls and evaluate where we are.”

Dougherty’s chances of winning seemed bleak during the first few minutes, with Berkeley scoring seven points within the first 3 minutes and Dougherty scoring none. But the Wildcats reorganized themselves. Both junior Kassandra Morando and senior Brianna Tahira made impressive three-pointers within the second half of the quarter, which helped the Wildcats even out the scoreboard to 16-13, in favor of Berkeley at the end of the quarter.

The Wildcat’s momentum increased further in the second quarter, as did the energy of the crowd. The Wildcats took the lead about halfway through the quarter with a three-pointer from junior Maddie Taylor, which put the score at 20-17. Berkeley pushed back hard, and both teams battled it out until the score ended at a close 28-27 at half-time, with Berkeley in the lead.

The close score gave way to a huge lead for Berkeley in the third quarter. Berkeley scored a whopping 20 points, with Dougherty Valley only scoring two with a quick layup  three minutes into the quarter. This put the Wildcats at a score of 60-40. 
Round 3:

The Wildcats’ third round against McClymonds ended in victory with a score of 53-40, cementing the Wildcats’ third place spot.

The Wildcats easily took the lead in the first quarter, with a score of 18-10.

McClymonds made a strong comeback in the  quarter, with the score still ending in the Wildcats’ favor, but much closer: 24-22.

When the Wildcats returned from halftime, their energy and strategy improved immensely. They managed to score 18 points in the quarter versus McClymonds’ six; the score ended in 42-38.

The Wildcats took their comfortable lead into the fourth quarter with an air of certainty. They ended the game with a score of 53-40.

The Wildcats continued their streak after the tournament, winning against the San Leandro Pirates and the Washington Huskies, with scores of 70-50 and 52-39 respectively. They will play the Mission San Jose Warriors in an away game on Thurs., Dec. 22. Their next home game will take place on Fri., Jan. 6 against the Monte Vista Mustangs.