Switching up defense in second half helps bring varsity girls to strong Homecoming victory over Faith Christian

After a close battle in the Homecoming game, the varsity girls won, 51-41, against Faith Christian, Jan. 15.

For the first four minutes, the Cavs were behind. But they caught up in less than a minute, thanks to three buckets by sophomore Yasmin Gupta, who led the team with 20 points.

By the end of the first quarter, the Cavs had established a 9-4 lead.

In the second quarter, both teams picked up the pace. Despite some defensive mishaps and missed rebounds, the Cavs were still ahead, 25-16, at the half.

However in the third quarter, Faith picked up its game, briefly leading the Cavs, 34-33.

The girls and Faith flip-flopped until senior Julia Owaidat (who finished with 16 points) made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

The crowds went wild, freshman boys and teachers alike.

But the girls were just getting started.

In the fourth quarter, they finished strong, scoring 18 points.

Coach Matt Vargo attributed the girls’ strength in the second half to defensive improvements.

“In the second half we did a better job,” Vargo said, “partially because we switched up our defense from box to zone to a triangle plus one. I had to make up a defense midgame.”

This defensive tactic worked but wasn’t foolproof the rest of the game.

“We were definitely exposed on rebounding,” Vargo said.

Owaidat agreed.

“(Faith) was really good at rebounds,” Owaidat said. “A lot of their points were put-back shots.”

Height also proved to be a challenge for the Cavs.

“There were some really tall girls under the basket,” freshman Heidi Johnson said, “and we weren’t boxing out and rebounding very well. Then they could have second chances at their shots.

“We need to take better shots instead of forcing the ball, even if that means passing to get a better shot.”

Owaidat said that the girls, herself included, need to work on layups.

The Cavs’ next game will be at home on Friday, Jan. 22, against Buckingham Charter.

—By Chardonnay Needler

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