Women’s Basketball defeated by San Ramon Valley Wolves

Despite a strong start, the Dougherty Valley Women’s basketball team lost against San Ramon Valley Wolves 50-41 in an away game on Jan. 10, breaking their winning league streak.

The team was coming off of two league wins against California and Monte Vista with final scores of 55-52 and 57-51, respectively. Head Coach Doug Vanderhorst cited this as a reason for feeling optimistic about the game.

“We won our first two league games. We’ve been playing hard, practicing hard so I feel good.”

The Wildcats were aggressive in the first quarter, scoring an impressive 17 points within the first half. Senior Vanessa Fukuchi dominated the quarter, making three 3-pointers within a minute, with Senior Ally Tayag also making a 3-pointer. The team’s energy was strong, with resounding chants from the bench despite the audience of SRV supporters. The quarter ended with a score of 17-9 in the Wildcats’ favor.

The Wildcats’ energy began to falter in the second quarter as the Wolves improved their offense, but the team still maintained a 3-point-lead going into halftime. Junior Amisha Kambath excelled, scoring two 2-point shots.  Fukuchi also continued to score, with two points from free throws. With just over a minute left on the clock, Senior Kaylee Wong scored the last two points of the half with a layup, ensuring the Wildcats’ 3-point lead. The score was 25-22.

Coach Vanderhorst admitted that DV began struggling after a spectacular first quarter. “The SRV Wolves made a couple of really good shots to get them back in the game and we didn’t respond well to that. We were the aggressors first, but then they took over.”

The SRV Wolves came back more aggressive than ever after halftime while the Wildcats continued to falter.

About a minute into second half, the Wolves took the lead, and continued to dominate with a series of 3-pointers. The Wildcats didn’t score until about halfway through the quarter when Senior Ally Tayag made a 2-point shot. The Wildcats scored five more points in the quarter, ending with Wong scoring a layup with three seconds left on the clock. However, the score ended with a 6-point deficit for the Wildcats, at 38-32.

Kambath noted that the team’s morale began to decline during the third quarter of the game, and that was reflected on the court.

“When we lose our momentum, all of us kind of get down on ourselves. Especially in the third quarter, we weren’t making our shots and then our defensive intensity also started to fall.”

The Wolves, meanwhile, carried their aggressive momentum into the 4th quarter, as the Wildcats struggled to regroup. Fukuchi continued to be a top scorer for the Wildcats, making a layup about halfway through the quarter. Wong also made a layup, and Junior Cassandra Morando made a 3-pointer. However, this effort was not enough for a Wildcat victory. The game ended in a loss with a score of 50-41.

Reflecting upon the game, Kambath noted that “something that’s been happening a lot is that we start off strong, but we tend to simmer down and allow teams to catch up to us, which is exactly what happened.”

Similarly, Vanderhorst noted that the team needs to “fight through adversity, find a way to regroup, even after setbacks, and keep our composure.”

The Women’s basketball team will next play the Livermore Cowboys at home on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.