The girls’ basketball team was defeated by Delta High School on Dec. 4, 32-34, in an exciting, close game filled with foul-outs in the final minutes.
Two players, freshman Yasmin Gupta and senior Isabella Tochterman, weren’t able to play in the game due to volleyball practice and illness. This meant that the girls had only three substitutes.
Starters were senior Micaela Bennett-Smith, juniors Julia Owaidat and Saachi Sikaria, sophomore Natalie Brown and freshman Esme Romo.
Team captain, Owaidat, said that both teams were evenly matched in many ways.
“We had the same fast point guards, the same amount of height and really aggressive girls who wanted (to win),” Owaidat said.
These similarities were evident throughout the match.
The first quarter ended 4-3. Owaidat and Bennett-Smith were the only players to score, with a free-throw shot and a 3-point shot, respectively.
The Cavs and the Saints continued to be equal throughout the second quarter, with points alternating between the teams. The quarter ended with Owaidat shooting two free-throw shots, bringing the score to 15-13.
The third quarter started off strong for the Cavs, with Brown shooting a 3-pointer in the first 15 seconds.
The girls’ defense stayed powerful throughout the quarter, allowing the Cavs to gain a 4-point lead, 24-20.
Brown scored another basket in the first minute of the fourth quarter. The score remained 26-24 for three minutes, until the Saints were fouled and scored one free throw.
As Bennett-Smith was inbounding the ball, a Delta player stepped over the boundary line and made contact with the ball while it was still in Bennett-Smith’s hands. This caused the referee to call an automatic technical foul.
Coach Matt Vargo chose Owaidat to shoot the two free throws. When she scored one of the two baskets, the score became 31-29.
Once the game resumed, Owaidat was almost immediately called for a foul while she was driving to the basket. The Saints’ player made both of her free throws, tying the score at 31-31.
With 55 seconds remaining, Brown received her fifth foul, also known as a foul-out, which meant that she had to sit out for the remainder of the game.
After the Saints made another two free throws after being fouled by Sikaria, the score was 31-33.
With 26 seconds remaining, Owaidat was fouled while she was driving for the basket. She made one of her two shots.
Owaidat then fouled out of the game with 19 seconds left.
At the 5-second mark, Bennett-Smith also fouled out.
A Saints’ player made one of her two free throws, resulting in a final score of 32-34.
Owaidat said that the three foul-outs had a huge impact on the outcome.
“We lost the experienced players in the most intense moment of the game,” she said.
Owaidat also said that she had let her team down when she fouled out.
“Since I am the captain, I am supposed to be an example and the one everyone relies on,” Owaidat said. “It was my job to tie it up or even to keep the lead we had the whole game.”