Girls’ basketball trounces Blair, maintaining undefeated league streak

Story by: Zoe Chen

Staff Writer

Photo by: Emiko Essmiller

Co-Design Editor and Staff Photographer

Girls’ basketball played the Blair Vikings in a home game on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Despite missing two starting players and the head coach, the Tigers dominated the court, winning with a final score of 90-21 and fortifying their undefeated league record. 

The Tigers stepped into the first period with energy, taking possession of the ball through the tipoff and gaining the first points with a three-pointer from junior point guard Mia Leach. As more two- and three-pointers sailed through the Tigers’ hoop, South Pasadena continued to grow their lead over Blair. Only minutes into the first period, two consecutive three-pointers from senior point guard Jamie Rain Kim gained South Pasadena 19-7 and concerned the Vikings into an early timeout.

The Tigers gained possession of the ball through multiple interceptions by senior shooting guard Yuzu Harada. However, attempted shots from both teams began to sail over the net or bounce off the backboard, causing the score to remain unchanged. With only a few seconds left in the period, junior point guard Katie Chung attempted a three-pointer from almost half a court away. The ball sailed through the net just as the buzzer went off, causing an eruption of cheer from the stands and ending the period with a 26-7 Tiger lead. 

The Tigers began the second period with possession of the ball, and interceptions prevented many of the Vikings’ two-pointer attempts. When sophomore guard Emma Jay Johnson, assisted by Chung, sunk a shot from a diagonal half court away, the Tigers led by 33-10. 

Numerous defensive plays and two-pointers from Harada continued to grow the Tigers’ lead. Blair tried to strategize by using close handoffs rather than thrown passes across the court, but despite the improvement, Blair’s struggle to sink shots kept their score trailing drastically. The scoreboard glowed 40-10, then 45-12 after three-pointers from Leach and two-pointers from Chung and sophomore point guard Madeline Park. The Tigers attempted a three-pointer with two seconds left on the period clock, but the shot went awry and the half closed at 49-12. 

Halftime celebrated junior shooting guard Kayla Boozer, who did not play during the game but had garnered 1,000 career points in the team’s previous match. 

The third period showed a slightly slower point gain for the Tigers than past periods had, although junior center Annika Selsby did manage a two-pointer only seconds into the period. South Pasadena seemed to lose momentum after five consecutive shots missed the net. Blair seemed to be suffering a similar fate, and minutes ticked by with neither team converting any shots. 

A three-pointer from Leach brought the score to 54-12 and helped to raise the team energy. More successful South Pas field goals followed, and with a focused mindset, a three-pointer from Harada brought the Tigers to 70 points. 

Blair gained their first and only points of the period with less than a minute left on the clock. South Pas ended the period with a whopping 55-point lead, 70-15. 

Harada stole the ball from the Vikings in the beginning of the final period, dribbling it all the way down the court to score a two-pointer and bring the score to 75-15. Another interception by Leach, followed by a smooth pass to junior shooting guard Maddy Wong, earned the Tigers another two points.

Leach scored the final points of the game with less than a minute left on the clock. The game closed with a final score of 90-21. 

“I think we played awesome,” Selsby said. “We didn’t have two of our best players in and we still put up over 90 points, so I’m really proud of us…we really had a good team win today. I think we’re definitely going to go undefeated in league, and hopefully after league we can make a good run in CIF and become CIF champions.”

The Tigers will play the San Marino Titans in an away game on Friday, Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m.

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