At the start of their game against the Buckingham Charter Knights on Jan. 19, the girls’ basketball team had only five players. By the time the final buzzer sounded, they were left with three.
Both teams racked up over 10 fouls in the first half, and the Cavs’ leading scorer, senior Yasmin Gupta, had four. Despite this, the Cavs held the lead, 24-18, at the end of the second quarter.
“I don’t think I should have had (that many fouls),” Gupta said. “One of them was a clean block.”
Gupta sat out most of the third quarter in foul trouble, but the Cavs were able to score consistently and maintain their lead, 29-20. With about four minutes left in the third quarter, senior Gurpria Nijhar came down with a rebound and landed awkwardly, injuring her knee.
“I came down and grabbed (the ball),” Nijhar said. “(But) when I went to turn, my body (turned) but my leg didn’t, and I felt it pop.”
Nijhar’s injury forced Gupta back into the game, and she stayed there through the quarter with the Cavs leading, 33-26, going into the fourth.
But at the start of the fourth quarter, Gupta picked up her fifth foul, ending her night.
Without her, the Cavs struggled to contain the Knights on defense, giving up seven unanswered points to tie the game, 33-33, with five minutes left. In addition, junior Heidi Johnson received her fourth foul, and seniors Annya Dahmani and Esme Bruce-Romo fouled out in the game’s final four minutes.
“I wasn’t expecting to foul out,” Dahmani said. “(The last one) was a charge, and I had already gotten called for two (earlier in the game).”
With both Dahmani and Bruce-Romo on the bench the Cavs were left with only four on the court.
But the Knights themselves were racking up fouls, forcing both teams to play weak defense and trade baskets with each other until the Cavs led 46-45 with one minute left.
Then senior Katia Dahmani was fouled driving to the basket and had the chance to put the Cavs up by one. She missed the first free throw, but made the second, tying the game.
Neither team was able to score, and the game went to overtime.
The Cavs came out strong, scoring the first seven points of the period to lead 53-46.
But with two minutes left, Johnson picked up her fifth foul, leaving just Katia and freshmen Lindsey Burback and Joanne Tsai on the court with five Knights.
Not surprisingly, the Knights scored 10 unanswered points to close out the game 53-56.
Despite the loss, the Cavs were confident that they could have secured the victory if they hadn’t fouled out.
“I think if (Johnson, Gupta), or I didn’t foul out we would’ve won,” Annya said. “As long as we (don’t foul out) again, we should be fine.”
—By Bryce Longoria