By Ryan Nakamura
Photos by Tucker Judkins
With 22 wins under their belt, South Pasadena girls basketball team broke the school’s record for most wins in a season after their first CIF game against Yucca Valley High School last Saturday. The team stole the show with a 54-37 win which moves the girls into the CIF quarterfinals.
Sophomores Juliana Tom and Jade Lin and freshman Tiffany Holmes took the court with varsity for their debut game after being moved up from JV.
The Tigers tallied up their first points when junior shooting guard Kristen Kafkaloff rocked the court with two points. A couple possessions later senior point guard Elise Takahama racked up two points of her own. Trojan forward Annika Dendekker managed a two point floater to keep Yucca Valley in the game. The Tigers answered back when Takahama scored another three to get the girls in rhythm. From there the team took the initiative and chalked up point after point for a first quarter score of 17-7.
Starting the second quarter, Yucca Valley dug in to get some stops on defense. Senior guard Taryn Kato tried to keep the momentum going with two points, but the Trojans answered back when forward Ashley Priest dragged out a three point possession after being fouled. She was followed by teammate September Shaw-Fryer who tied up the game with four points, 19-19. Tom responded back with a three pointer to distance the team from Yucca Valley. Despite South Pas’ effort the Trojans managed to slug it out and walked off the court in the first half in the lead 26-24.
“We told ourselves to pretend it was a new game and come out strong like we did in the first quarter,” Kafkaloff said. “We tried not to let the importance of the game overwhelm us and just played our game.”
Down two points, the girls pushed the tempo early in the third quarter to get back in the lead. The Tigers steadily increased their lead when Takahama and Kafkaloff converted six points early on in the quarter. They were followed by senior point guard Lexie Scholtz with an additional three points to put the Tigers on top 37-32.
The team left the Trojans in the dust when Kafkaloff opened up for a three pointer early on. With that, the girls rolled their way to victory when Scholtz wrapped up the game with two points, putting the final score at 54-37.
“We got into early foul trouble but we knew that if we kept it close, we would be fine in the second half,” Head Coach Tammy Lai stated. “We also had problems hitting shots in the second quarter and their size was an issue for us.”
The girls will be facing off against Saint Josephs High School in the CIF quarterfinals at home on Wednesday Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
Stats by Nicholas Baer
K Kafkaloff: 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
L Scholtz: 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals
S Hathaway: 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals