Sophomore Yasmin Gupta makes a layup over Turlock Christian defenders in the varsity girls' 39-63 playoff loss to the Eagles, Feb. 26.

Varsity girls’ fall short of underdog fairytale ending

(Photo used by permission of Nina Dym)
Sophomore Yasmin Gupta makes a layup over Turlock Christian defenders in the varsity girls’ 39-63 playoff loss to the Eagles, Feb. 26.

After narrowly inching out a victory over the No. 3 seed Stockton Christian Eagles, the Cavs looked to pull off another upset against a team of Christian Eagles, this time in Turlock.

Unfortunately, the Eagles soared past the Cavs in a 63-39 victory.

Emotions were running high after the game. The girls had just come off of their incredible second-half comeback win thanks to stellar performances from senior Julia Owaidat and sophomore Yasmin Gupta.

Gupta led the team with 14 points followed by freshman Heidi Johnson with 10.

The girls started off slow due to lack of energy from fans. Three-quarters of the gym was filled by Eagles’ fans, and even the small quarter allocated to SCDS was invaded by parents and students of Turlock Christian.

Nevertheless, the Cavs started to bring it back towards the end of the quarter. They closed in on Turlock’s early leaed, bringing the score to, 17-10, at the end of the first.

In between quarters, head coach Matt Vargo delivered the message he has all season: “All five need to rebound.”
Unfortunately for the Cavs, this didn’t translate into the second quarter, as the girls gave up offensive rebound after offensive rebound.

Even though assistant coach David Ancrum wasn’t present,he might have described their work on the boards as “lackadaisical,” a favorite term of his.

The Cavs’ ineffectiveness on the boards coupled with careless turnovers gave the Eagles their highest scoring quarter of the night with 21.

The Cavs went scoreless in the second quarter until Johnson was fouled on a made layup and converted the free throw for a 3-point play with only 3:25 left in the half.

Even though the Cavs went into the half down, they came out with fire, partially because math teacher Patricia Jacobsen had arrived with students in the spirit van.

Juniors Aidan Cunningham and Adam Dean, sophomores Nina Dym, Reggie Fan and Nico Burns, and freshman Ben Miner endured the hour-and-a-half drive to cheer on the girls.

Immediately, they began to battle it out with the Turlock fans, valiantly cheering against the larger crowd.

It was the boost of confidence the girls needed. The Cavs came out blazing, attacking the Eagles with their new-found confidence.

The Cavs doubled their point total, putting up 16, and outscoring the Eagles (13) for the only quarter that night.

But the Eagles came back relentlessly in the fourth quarter. Unfazed by the Cavs third-quarter run, Turlock put on a display, similar to that of the first two quarters: clean and fluid.

Turlock turned Country Day’s turnovers into easy passes upcourt for layups.

(Photo used by permission of Nina Dym)
Patricia Jacobsen, dean of student life, drove a van of students to cheer on the girls. 

Despite being down 63-39, the spirit squad started one more “Let’s Go, Cavs!” chant as the clock wound down.

This may not have been a win in the stat book, but it was definitely a win for the Country Day community.

Students, teachers and parents driving well over an hour to both playoff games to support the girls set SCDS apart from Turlock and Stockton.

With the girls being eliminated from the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, SCDS’s hopes of hanging another basketball banner have vanished.

—By Jake Longoria

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