Shoes banged in the bleachers. “Miss! Miss!”
The Eagles’ shrieks were aimed at the Cavs for only one reason: distraction.
And now was not the time for that.
With under a minute left in the fourth quarter of the Feb. 23 first-round playoff game, sophomore Yasmin Gupta had to sink a free throw to go ahead by 2 points.
And she did, narrowly sealing the Cavs’ win, 47-45, against the No. 3 Stockton Christian Eagles in Stockton.
The Cavs managed this even though the Eagles were seeded three spots higher in the playoff bracket.
Senior Julia Owaidat and Gupta led the team with 17 points apiece.
The Cavs’ ball movement improved since the last game.
“We limited turnovers,” Owaidat said. “We also made our layups and played excellent defense. Our defense was key today.”
Not only did the Eagles have more fans in the stands, but they also had a formidable point guard, senior Taylor Martin, who averages 20 points a game.
So the girls had to play extreme defense to stop her 3-point shooting.
“(Sophomore) Annya (Dahmani), (sophomore) Katia (Dahmani) and junior Natalie Brown were playing hard man on that key player,” Owaidat said.
“And it worked. They really shut her down.”
Sophomore Esme Bruce-Romo agreed.
“She also got really frustrated by this since we held her to only a few points,” Bruce-Romo said.
Bruce-Romo also said she thinks the two teams (despite the difference in seeding) are similar.
“We were equal in skill level,” Bruce-Romo said. “So we knew it was going to be a close game.”
But Annya disagreed and said that the Cavs had a slight advantage.
“We were excited and wanted to play,” Annya said. “We really wanted to win.”
“I honestly think that we wanted it more than them.”
And there were many SCDS fans who made the 48-minute trip from Country Day to Stockton to support the girls.
“Our parents and (teacher Bruce) Baird really motivated us,” Owaidat said. “We then realized that this was our game.”
Owaidat also believes that this game showed the Cavs’ potential.
“If we play the way we played today for the next two games, we will win the whole thing,” Owaidat said.
Find out if Owaidat’s prediction holds true in the second-round game on Thursday, Feb. 25, against the No. 2 Turlock Christian Eagles in Turlock at 7 p.m.
—By Chardonnay Needler