Girls Basketball Edge Out Menlo in Close Game

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The girls’ basketball team defeated the Menlo Knights 41-37 in a close battle on Thursday night, 

Improving their record to 6-4. 

Sheldon goes through her free throw routine

In the first quarter, the Bears and Knights competed consistently to push for a lead, with intense defense on both sides–––the teams engaged in early press defense, and both committed consecutive steals and fouls, resulting in turnovers on both ends. 

As the Bears struggled to break free from the Knights’ defense, junior Eve Amram found space and sunk a three-pointer, setting the tone for the rest of the game. 

The Bears took advantage of more scoring opportunities to push forward and expand their lead, scoring free throws and fast-break layups under the basket. With an open layup by junior Avary Sheldon and a jumper by Amram, they ended the first quarter 12-6 in favor of M-A. 

As the Bears’ defense began to falter in the second quarter, the Knights found open spaces in the corners for three-pointers but were continuously unable to capitalize on them.

M-A also struggled with rebounding, allowing the Knights to shoot layup after layup, but Menlo still struggled to put the ball into the basket.

Despite Menlo’s hard defense with consistent fouls, the Bears still managed to maintain their lead. With respective shots from Sheldon, Amram, and sophomore Molly Gray, the Bears ended the half 22-17. 

The Bears came back strong after halftime, charging ahead with a 10-point-lead after a three-pointer from Amram and another by senior Fiona Steinmetz. Both teams kept aggressive defense, leading to many missed shots. The Knights struggled to penetrate the Bears’ defense, resulting in consistent turnovers.

Steinmetz and Sheldon run back on defense

“We just knew what we had to do. We had two girls–––Ruiqi [Liu] and Karen [Xin], and we just had to pressure them, make sure they didn’t score, and then our offense would just play out,” Amram said. 

Towards the end of the quarter, junior Crystal Guerra got ahold of the ball and made a successful shot. However, the Knights came back with a three-pointer just before the end of the third quarter, bringing the score to 37-26. 

An intense fourth quarter saw many steals, missed baskets, jump-balls, and tussles for possession. With five minutes left on the clock, the score was unchanged, with the Bears only needing to continue their persistent defense to cement a victory. 

Realizing this, the Knights came back from a time-out with a vengeance, making two fast three-pointers to bring the score to 37-32. After failed shots from both teams, Gray secured another three-pointer for the Bears, widening the gap between them and the Knights.

Amram drives to the basket

The game was paused when Amram got hurt, but she was back on the court in a matter of minutes. “I got a little whacked, but we won, so that’s all that matters,” she said.

With under a minute left on the clock, the Knights were still determined to even the score, making an easy jump shot for two more points. The Bears missed two free throws, but the Knights fouled the Bears again with a mere 12 seconds remaining on the clock. 

The Bears made the final basket of the game in their second free throw attempt. The Knights quickly intercepted the ball and leaped to the other side of the court for a missed three-pointer, allowing the Bears to end the game with a narrow victory, 41-37.

“On the zone, we passed well, were unselfish, and we locked them down on defense,” said Amram.

On keeping a steady lead, Guerra said, “We knew we had to get even more serious and do everything ten times better than we did before. We tried to fight as hard as we could.”

The Bears will play the Leland Chargers at home on December 28 at 4:30 pm.

Celine Chien is a junior in her second year at the Chronicle. She is a Design Lead for the Mark, a copy editor, and reports on detracking and community news. Celine is on M-A's debate team, Leadership-ASB, and loves to cook and spend time with her family.

Allegra Hoddie is a junior in her first year of journalism. She enjoys covering current events and the arts. She also makes Instagram posts, drinks lattes, and copyedits.

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