On Friday night, the girls’ basketball team slaughtered the Half Moon Bay Cougars 51-35. Senior Hayden Wan said, “We are a very skilled team, and we have a really good chance to make it to CCS this year. I love the girls, and I think they are just amazing to be around.”
The first quarter started with Half Moon Bay taking an early lead, with four points to M-A’s zero after three minutes. Soon, M-A’s offense blitzed Half Moon Bay with a jump shot and a three-pointer by sophomore Lita Fakapelea, taking the lead 5-4. The Bears and the Cougars valiantly continued to fight, ending the first quarter with M-A in the lead 9-7. Senior Janiya Moss said, “We had some moments where we were a little rocky and let them come back, but we just powered through.”
During the second quarter, Half Moon Bay was able to tie up the game while M-A resisted the Cougars offense. With 30 seconds left on the clock, it seemed the Cougars would eke out ahead of the Bears, just slightly ahead 17-16. But, M-A made a layup to take the lead 18-17. With 15 seconds left in the half, M-A gained possession and sprinted to the offensive side With ten seconds remaining, M-A’s junior Avary Sheldon made a three-pointer to secure the Bear’s lead 21-17 going into half time. Wan said, “Things were not going so great at the beginning, but we really pulled it out in the second half.”
Moss added, “The energy from the bench and the stands really helped us find our game and take the lead.” Junior Sara Djafari said, “We kept the energy going the whole game, and that really helped us.”
The Bears refused to let up in the third quarter. M-A started with possession and quickly attempted a three-pointer but failed. The Bears maintained possession and Sheldon made a layup, increasing M-A’s lead to 23-17. Right after, before the Cougars even crossed half court, Sheldon intercepted a pass and scored again. M-A stayed ahead through the third quarter, ending it 38-25.
During the fourth quarter, after M-A called a timeout, Wan started with possession on the defensive side. Wan went across the court and passed to Sheldon, who then passed to sophomore Luisa Tava, who passed it back to an unguarded Wan, allowing her to score a three-pointer and extending the Bears’ lead to 43-32. The Bears then blocked the Cougars offensive push and gained possession, where Tava attempted a layup but was fouled and then scored two free throws.
The end of the fourth quarter was in sight, yet the Bears continued to dominate in the final minutes. Moss scored with 30 seconds left on the clock, and after the Cougars ran to attempt to score in the final seconds of the game, Moss intercepted and sprinted back to score again with only 12 seconds left. Moss said, “We knew what we needed to accomplish, and we just put it all together.”
After the game, Assistant Coach Brady Johnson said, “We have a great team, and when we play together, we are very dangerous.” Moss concluded with, “I am so excited. I know this is my last season, and I want to see us go far in CCS this year.”