Girls basketball reaches CIF-SS Division I Finals


Guard Melissa Zozulenko ’21 surveys the frontcourt in a 75-31 win against La Canada High School in the Brentwood Invitational. Zozulenko finished with 13 points against West Torrance High School. Credit: Jaidev Pant/Chronicle

Jaidev Pant

The girls’ basketball team defeated West Torrance High School 64-49 at home Feb. 22, advancing to the CIF Division I championship game.

Previous Games

In its last game against West Torrance, the squad managed to defeat the Warriors 58-56, which marked its first win of the season. In the quarterfinals of CIF Division I playoffs, the girls defeated Rolling Hills Preparatory 48-32, with forward Kiki Iriafen ’21 finishing with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Heading into this semifinal matchup, the Wolverines had a overall record of 21-8.

The Game

The squad started strong and found themselves up 15-7 at the end of the first quarter. Throughout the game, the Warriors attempted to pressure the Wolverines in the backcourt.

After outscoring the Warriors by four points, the team was up 32-20 at halftime, with Iriafen scoring 19 points in the half. The Warriors bounced back in the third quarter and brought the deficit down to seven points. However, in the final quarter, the squad pulled away from the Warriors, winning the game 64-49. Iriafen finished with 31 points, while guard Melissa Zozulenko ’21 added 12 points for the Wolverines.

Guard Kimiko Katzaroff ’21 described the keys to the semifinal victory. 

At first we were having trouble containing their best player, but Kiki stepped up and guarded her the second half which really locked her up,” Katzaroff said. “Overall, every person did their part and our defense is really what kept them out of the game.”

Championship Preview

With this win, the squad will face Troy High School in the championship game. The girls previously defeated Troy High School 40-23, Nov. 30. The game is set to be on Feb. 29, with the site and time to be announced.