Girls’ basketball defeats Chaminade in thrilling Senior Night finish

Girls’ basketball defeats Chaminade in thrilling Senior Night finish

Sophomore Forward Kiki Iraifen guards an opponent at the top of the key. Iriafen finished with 20 points for the Wolverines. (Will Mallory/Chronicle)

With less than two minutes remaining, all signs pointed to a Wolverine loss in the final home game for seniors Emma Sunkin and Gianna Hubbard. The squad, trailing by four after a late push by Chaminade High School on Jan 29 in Taper Gymnasium, was set to lose its second match to the Eagles this year and fall out of the race for the Mission League Championship.

But sophomores Kimiko Katzaroff and Krista Semaan had other plans.

It was Katzaroff who struck first, sinking a deep three-pointer with less than a minute remaining to decrease the Eagles’ lead to just one. On the following play, Semaan stole an opponent’s pass and sprinted down the court, laying up the go-ahead basket with just 18 seconds left. The crowd erupted as the Wolverine defense made one final stand, solidifying a 47-46 win over the Eagles and keeping their Mission League Title hopes alive.

The win propels the Wolverines to an overall record of 19-7 and a league record of 6-1. Forward Kiki Iriafen ’21 and Katzaroff finished with 20 points and 12 points, respectively.

Katzaroff drives past a defender with her left hand in a 15-point first quarter for the Wolverines. (Will Mallory/Chronicle)

Before potentially their final game in Taper Gymnasium, Sunkin and Hubbard were honored with flowers and greeted by loved ones as apart of the Senior Night ceremony.

The Wolverines struggled to make their shots early, allowing the Eagles to pull away in the first quarter. After a timeout was called by program head Melissa Hearlihy, the squad found their rhythm, taking a one-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

Both defenses stepped up in the second quarter, with the Wolverines heading into the locker room with a 28-26 lead.

The Eagles came out of the break strong, though, making plays all over the court and holding the Wolverines to just nine points in the quarter alone. They continued their success into the final quarter, before the Wolverines rocked the gym with five points in two minutes to win the game.

“It feels great to win for our seniors,” forward Ella Price ’20 said. “They have been so great all year, and to win like that for them was really special.”

Katzaroff spreads her arms to defend the Eagles’ point guard. The sophomore finished with 12 points for the Wolverines. (Will Mallory/Chronicle)

The squad will play at Marlborough High School on Jan. 31 for their final regular season match of the season. With the help of a Chaminade loss, the Wolverines can win the Mission League Championship with a win Thursday.

“Tonight’s game was incredible,” guard Mirabella Wong ’20 said. “But with the playoffs around the corner, we have to remain focused on what’s ahead.”

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