Varsity Women’s Basketball looks forward after difficult season

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Teju Anand

Wildcats' captain Maggie Gies attempts a 3-pointer against Dublin High.

Claire Zhang and Teju Anand

The Wildcats’ varsity women’s basketball team suffered two home losses to Carondelet, 70-21, and to Dublin, 59-48, on Feb. 11 and Feb. 13, respectively. Despite their high energy and strong efforts, the team was unable to close the season with a final victory. 

DV began the game against the Carondelet Cougars on Feb. 11 with a strong offense. The first points of the game were earned by senior co-captain Karina Shah with a layup. The team quickly racked up more points through free throws by senior Aruna Harihara and a rebound shot by Shah. However, despite Dougherty’s head start, Carondelet quickly took the lead, ending the quarter 12-6. 

Carondelet continued to control the court in the next quarter with their long passes and strong defense. The Cougars utilized swift passes after gaining possession of the ball to reach the basket before Dougherty could defend, allowing them to score with ease. Every Carondelet player on the court shot at least once during the second quarter, gaining the team 24 more points by the end of the first half.

Carondelet’s solid defense also made it hard for the Wildcats to score despite numerous attempts. DV’s only points in the quarter were two successful free throws made by Harihara. By the end of the first half, Carondelet’s strong momentum launched them 28 points ahead of Dougherty with a score of 36-8. 

The home side’s unlucky streak continued in the third quarter, with the Wildcats gaining five points through free throws made by seniors Samantha Tran and Harihara. In contrast, Carondelet earned 23 more points, building an 18 point lead over the Wildcats. The quarter ended with DV lagging behind with a score of 59-13.

DV began to pick up their speed during the last quarter of the game. Despite missing multiple free throws, senior Grace Akers was able to score four points. Tran and junior Sreeya Yekollu also scored two points each. However, they were only able to raise their score by eight points. Unable to close the gap, Dougherty lost 49 points to Carondelet with a score of 70-21. 

“During the Carondelet game, our team didn’t perform to the level we could have … We had a lot of unnecessary turnovers which resulted in easy buckets for them,” Shah reflected. 

After the Carondelet game, the Wildcats celebrated senior night on Feb. 13 with a special pre-game ceremony. Each senior was honored with posters and heartfelt speeches made by the rest of the team. The seniors were presented with a certificate, flowers and teddy bears as they posed for pictures with family members, coaches and teammates under a balloon arch.

Not only was it their senior night, but it was also their final game of the season against the Dublin Gaels — their arch-rivals. The song team showed their support by cheering and performing throughout the game, particularly during time-outs, at the end of each quarter and at halftime.

Despite their strong spirit and an outstanding audience turnout, the Wildcats started the game against the Gaels poorly. Even through there were numerous attempts to score, including two attempted 3-pointers by senior co-captain Maggie Gies, the Wildcats were only able to gain a total of four points through free throws made by Tran and junior captain Rianna Lee. In contrast, the Gaels began their game with an excellent start. They scored 18 points by the end of the quarter, with senior Karina Virk making the first three pointer of the game. The first quarter ended with the Gaels leading 18-4.

Dougherty began to pick up speed in the second quarter and improved their offense. The DV girls took control of the ball at the very beginning of the quarter, with Shah making a successful lay-up. The Wildcats were able to earn 13 points, outscoring Dublin who scored 11. However, DV’s improved performance was unable to make up for the large lead that the Gaels established in the  first quarter. The Gaels still ended the first half with a 12-point lead, 29-17. 

Dougherty also managed to outscore Dublin in the third quarter. With Harihara making a 3-pointer and junior Sarah Negrete-Lopez, freshman Ananya Shaligram and Lee each scoring a layup, DV was able to score 13 points again. However, Dublin managed to earn 12 points, leading at the end of the third quarter with a score of 41-30.

The fourth quarter was a battle of free throws. Both teams became more aggressive in a final scramble to win the game, resulting in fouls on both sides. 

“There were a lot of fouls at the end of the game because we were trying to get Dublin to the free throw line. The reason we did this is because, since the score was close, we wanted to stop the clock and get the ball,” Gies said.

The Wildcats and the Gaels were both able to rack up a total of 18 points in the quarter through intense game play. As the quarter continued, the aggressive play style of both teams spread to the sidelines, sparking disagreement between Dougherty and Dublin supporters. Despite Dougherty’s efforts, the game ended with a pyrrhic victory for Dublin with a score of 59-48.

The Wildcats ended the season with an overall record of 14-12. The team has shown great improvement under their new head coach, Shawn Smith. 

“For next year, the team just needs to continue to work hard and be confident with what they have to offer and just compete everyday, giving their all each practice and game, and the results will show,” Shah added.