By Riley Segal
The girls’ varsity basketball team defeated Temple City 52-45 in an away matchup on Friday, January 22 to bring the Tigers’ league record to 3-1 and overall record to 9-5. Though the Rams attempted to make a last-minute comeback in the fourth quarter, the effort was not enough to pull in front of South Pas.
The Tigers drew first blood in the beginning of the match, but Temple City soon responded by gaining a small lead as South Pas had trouble defending against the Rams’ constant screens. Once coach Tammy Lai gave directions to modify the Tigers’ defense, South Pas was able to jump in front and prevent Temple City from earning numerous points. Senior Kristen Kafkaloff led the offensive charge, garnering many of the Tigers’ points. Junior Jalynne Li attempted another basket before the buzzer rang out, but it bounced off the backboard to finish at 22-15.
The Rams opened the second quarter with a three and a two-pointer, and Kafkaloff followed with another basket. The Tigers were given many opportunities in the form of free throws, as Temple City was very physical on the defensive end, but South Pas couldn’t put all of them away. Juniors Jade Lin and Juliana Tom had many drives to the basket, and Tom sank two free throws after being sandwiched by Temple City. Lin earned the last points of the half off of a layup to end the second quarter at 33-24.
Neither team would score until about halfway through the third quarter, when Kafkaloff put away another basket. The Rams countered with two threes, but were unable to catch up to the Tigers. Li would finish off the quarter with a basket to put the score at 41-30.
While the Tigers would remain in the lead for a majority of the fourth quarter, Temple City gave South Pas a scare in the final few minutes. The Tigers kept fouling Ram players, who were able to sink their free throws. Temple City also put away several threes. However, South Pas distanced itself after Lin was badly fouled. A Temple City player attempted to block Lin’s layup, and left Lin unmoving on the floor. After remaining there for a few minutes, she was helped off the court by Lai and the Temple City medic. Freshman Kayla Zhang came in and made one of two free throws for Lin, who wouldn’t come back for the rest of the game. Li acquired the final basket of the night to end the match at a score of 52-45, as Temple City missed its last shot.
“Overall, I think this game went okay,” Li said. “We had some trouble at the end because we weren’t doing what we were supposed to do and our shots weren’t going in, but at other points in the game we did well because we were talking and our passing was better.”
The Tigers look to defeat Monrovia at home in their fifth league game on Friday, January 27 at 5:15 p.m. South Pas looks to improve its league record to 4-1 and overall record to 10-5.