Girls basketball uses strong first half to advance in CIF State Playoffs


Guard Krista Semaan ’21 sets up the offense in a 75-31 win against La Canada High School in the Brentwood Invitational. Semaan finished with 12 points against the Mustangs tonight. Credit: Jaidev Pant/Chronicle

Jaidev Pant

The girls basketball team defeated Marlborough High School 65-50 March 5, advancing to the quarterfinal of CIF State playoffs.

Previous Games

In its last game, the squad defeated North Torrance High School 66-54 after pulling away in the fourth quarter. Forward Kiki Iriafen ’21 finished with 20 points for the Wolverines, while guard Melissa Zozulenko ’21 added 18 points. Heading into this matchup, the squad split the season series with Marlborough High School, losing the first game 51-38 Jan. 23 and clinching the outright league title with a 75-59 win against the Mustangs on Feb. 6.

The Game

The squad began the game strong and found themselves up 15-11 at the end of the first quarter. The team built off this four point lead, outscoring the Mustangs by 11 in the second quarter and led 35-20 at halftime. At this point in the game, Iriafen had 15 points for the Wolverines, while guard Kimiko Katzaroff ’21 scored nine points.

In the third quarter, the girls maintained their lead and found themselves up 16 points heading into the final period. Despite a comeback from the Mustangs, the Wolverines ultimately won the game 65-50, bringing their overall record to 25-8 and continuing their eleven game win streak. Iriafen finished with 20 for the Wolverines, with Zozulenko adding 18 points and Katzaroff scoring 14 points. Iriafen attributes the squad’s win to its strong first half performance.

“The first half is what really helped us because we were doing great offensively and defensively,” Iriafen said. “We kind of got away from that in the second half, but I think the lead we got in the first half really helped us push through.”

The Future

The squad’s next game will be in the CIF State Regional Semifinal on March 7 on the road against Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. Iriafen said that the team will focus on defense heading into its match against the Dons.

“They are a really good team, so we just have to play better defense on Saturday than we did today,” Iriafen said.