(Graphic by Emma Boersma)

Johnson scores 43, leads girls basketball team to first win of season

Date: Dec. 14

Opponent: Encina Preparatory

Location: Home

Result: Country Day won 54-38 to improve to 1-2.

Country Day scoring: Senior Heidi Johnson 43, sophomore Lindsay Burback 9, sophomore Naomi Cohen 2.

Inside info from middle Cohen: “For our third game, we did amazing. They were a very aggressive team, and we beat them by double digits! This was an amazing win that I will take with me through this season.”

Inside info from point guard Johnson: “There was a lot of improvement this game, which was exciting. We still have a lot of work to do, but we did a better job of passing the ball to get an open shot.  Our defense was better in general!

“Last year, we had a lot of starting seniors and more experienced players, including Yasmin (Gupta, ’18), who is playing in college. Because of that, most people knew the rules and fundamentals of the game. There wasn’t as much explaining to do about plays and strategy. This year, we’ve had to start from the beginning, but the players are doing a good job of continuously learning and improving, so the growth is nice to see.”

Inside info from small forward Burback: “Tonight’s victory was ours because of the amount of communication and space we created in the court tonight. Our defense and offense were all out there tonight.

“We had a lot of missed rebounds when the other team was shooting that we could have gotten our hands on. There were a few times where we got some easy layups and shots in, and other times, we missed those extra points.

“Comparing to how we started this basketball season with losing our first two games, we certainly have improved our skills than from the beginning.”

Comment by coach Latonia Pitts: “We were down one player tonight. The girls were tired from the game the night before; however, they pushed through for the victory. We were a lot better with maximizing the court.

“All the players were involved one way or the other during the game. Naomi did a great job protecting middle and being strong with the ball. Brandy’s (Riziki, senior) defense was amazing tonight, and she played very fiercely. Lindsay did a good job bringing the ball to the other side and finding holes in the other team’s defense. Vivian (Connor, freshman) got a few rebounds and showed no fear to shoot. Joanne (Tsai, sophomore) played well during offense with a good hustle. Daisy (Zhou, freshman) worked hard by putting up good screens and staying active in the game. Heidi played fantastic with a triple double. She scored 43 points tonight, but that is nothing compared to the leadership on the floor, which she shows daily.

“This victory was earned team-wide. The girls are improving, and it is great to see and be part of. They are truly growing as a team, and I am very proud of their hard work! The ladies earned the win tonight, and I hope they hold this excitement for a while.”

Next game: Thursday, Jan. 3, 6 p.m., at home against Valley Christian.

—By Sanjana Anand

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