By LUKE CURTIS
With two victories against Irvine and Beckman, Girls Basketball secured their third straight Pacific Coast League title. The wins gave the team a 8-1 league record and extends their win streak to four games heading into a promising CIF run.
Against Irvine in the White-Out game, the Trojans were able to capitalize off the energy of the crowd to get off to a good start, and eventually secure a 40-23 victory.
“It’s great to be able to have support from other students, it helped us play some vigorous defense and energetic offense. The first quarter was one of the best we’ve had all season,” senior guard Claire Kawata said.
Though the team struggled to continue their scoring efficiency in the second quarter, they were able to adjust their game plan and close out the game.
“We needed to make changes in the second quarter in order to stay competitive and take the victory. On defense, we had to adjust our trapping in the corners, while offensively we had to drive to the basket more,” senior center Aryn Press said.
These changes allowed the team to find their rhythm in the second half, with several players contributing to the turnaround.
“After halftime we picked up our defense and offense. By doing that, we were able to get a big enough lead into the 4th quarter. The coaching was great throughout the whole game. Aryn Press, and [sophomore guard] Giulia Roy helped keep us on track with scoring, rebounding, and steals as we came back to win,” Kawata said.
Throughout the game, the team’s support for each other was crucial for their success.
“We came together, and lifted each other up. We continued to give each other encouragement through the little things, like a high five or patting each other’s back. We always know what to say and when to say it,” junior guard Sam Skurnick said.
As the Trojans look to make a deep CIF run, they can still look to improve defensively.
“In the future, we could improve on rebounding and boxing out and staying aggressive on defense throughout the whole game,” Kawata said.
Following up on their game against Irvine, the Trojans were able to claim the Pacific League CIF title at 8-1, with a 58-48 win over Beckman. Due to their strong ability to defend in the paint, University cites its success upon that vital cornerstone of basketball play.
“Staying disciplined on defense lets us win games. By having a defense-oriented mentality, we were able to clutch first place in league. Coach [Fidel] Vargas stresses the notion to us that defense wins games before every game in the weight room. This has ultimately played a factor in our success this season,” Press said.
The Trojans end their regular season campaign against Woodbridge on February 6th.