Girls’ basketball survives scare against Marlborough

Ryan Nakamura

Staff Writer

The Varsity Girls Basketball team took a tight 49-48 victory over Marlborough on Tuesday, January 6, marking the end of their fall season with an 11-1 record.

The girls left Marlborough after barely taking their final non-conference win. The team took the court with a slow tempo, letting Marlborough take the lead 8-11 in the first quarter from losing multiple turnovers and offensive boards to the larger Mustang. The girls brought back their fire when senior guard Elise Takahama knocked down two three-pointers, followed by senior center Sophia Hathaway adding two buckets and senior guard Lexie Scholtz putting in three free throws. The Tigers finished the half up 21-14.

South Pas kept up the intensity into the fourth quarter but lost their rhythm, giving the Mustang an advantage. The opposing team then went on an 11-0 streak with 1:41 left in the clock. It wasn’t until junior guard Kristen Kafkaloff took the initiative and racked up four points after followed by a fast break layup and steal from Scholtz. Only 18 seconds left, Scholtz gave the final blow with the game winning basket. Mustangs star point guard Lauren Spearman, a Boston University commit, missed two free throws, sealing the Tigers’ victory.

The Marlborough game gave spectators a glimpse of what was to come in league. Takahama took five three-pointers, with Scholtz and Kafkaloff each scoring two. The three broke the school record in having the most threes in a game twice this season. The team’s record combined for 12 against Flintridge Prep and Canyon. With the score tallied up, Scholtz scored 16 points, alongside Takahama with 15, Kafkaloff with 14, and Hathaway with 4 points. Scholtz and Hathaway took 12 rebounds each.

The girls managed to take the win but also had 23 turnovers, twice more than their usual game average.

“We were able to pull out a win even though we didn’t play very well,” Coach Tammy Lai said. “Prior to Marlborough, our last game was on Dec.18 against Canyon. I expected a rough start to get our legs back into game mode but it was a sloppy game overall. We had a lot of turnovers and just looked out of sync for most of the game. We were outrebounded and didn’t move the ball well on offense.”

Overall, however, Lai said she was pleased with the team’s preseason play, which featured some tough teams that were tall, fast and athletic.

“I think that our schedule will help us as we prepare for league,” Lai said. “Our expectations are high for league and we need to come out and play hard every night. We need to learn from our mistakes from preseason and execute our game plan.”

The Tigers will travel to Blair for their league opener on Wednesday, January 14, at 5:15 p.m.