Girls’ basketball advances to semis with win over St. Joseph

By Ryan Nakamura

Staff Writer

Photos by Tucker Judkins

The girls basketball team charged through Wednesday’s quarterfinal playoffs against Saint Josephs High School, coming out on top with a 66-38 win.

South Pas put up the first shots after winning the tipoff but wasn’t able to connect with the rim. St. Josephs drew first blood when center Rebecca Ramirez sunk two points to get the game rolling. The Tigers responded back when senior center Sophia Hathaway scored two points to give South Pasadena its first points of the night. The Jesters quickly reacted with three points of their own, but the girls were able to stay neck and neck with St. Josephs until Hathaway to sunk the go-ahead shot and put South Pas in the lead. The Tigers ended the first quarter with senior point guard Lexie Scholtz keeping the team on top with an extra two points for a score of 17-12.IMG_2440

The Jesters came out first in the second quarter with two points to try and close the gap. Both sides kept taking it to the hoop until junior shooting guard Kristen Kafkaloff distanced the lead with a clutch three pointer. She was followed by fellow teammate sophomore guard Jalynne Li who scored two more points over St. Josephs to secure the Tigers lead going into the third quarter, with a halftime score of 30-21.

“We didn’t have a very big lead at the end of the first half and we knew if they had a chance, they’d come out strong the second half so we needed to come out even stronger to build the lead and our momentum,” Hathaway stated.

The girls did just that, when Kafkaloff came in her own and took a 10-0 run to kick off the third. The girls were able to take a 16-0 run until Jester point guard Brianna Espinoza stopped the Tiger rampage with two points. South Pas quickly recovered and took the third quarter by force, 54-33. The Tigers, fueled by their third quarter frenzy, kept up the intensity when senior guard Taryn Kato chalked up three points on the scoreboard. Up 20 points, the Tigers slowed up their offense and finished the day with a final score of 66-38.IMG_2459

The team hopes to carry on its winning streak against third seed team and reigning champion Santa Margarita High School on Saturday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m.

“I’m so proud of how the girls played today,” Head Coach Tammy Lai said. “We just need to take this energy and be ready on Saturday. We are excited to be in the semifinals and hope to execute our game plan.”


Kristen Kafkaloff: 21

Elise Takahama: 13

Lexie Scholtz: 13

Sophia Hathaway: 12

Jalynne Li: 4