Girls’ basketball wins CIF title, falls in state playoffs

By Alex Edel

Throughout the season the refrain “All Five” helped drive the girls’ basketball team to a CIF championship. The team finished out the season with an overall record of 22-10 and a league record of 8-2, placing them second in league.

“Going into this season we had really high expectations,” Head Coach Melissa Hearlihy said. “In terms of wins and losses I don’t know if our expectations were as high early as they were for me late. I knew that with the new divisions we had a chance to win a CIF title.”

The “all five” concept drove the team throughout the season, Hearlihy said.

“It was our philosophy for the whole year. The five people on the court were going to represent other areas. And it is kind of twofold. One philosophical, meaning that it represented the parents, the administration, the school, the kids sitting on the bench, the coaches and so from a philosophy standpoint those kids were going to represent everyone else,” Hearlihy said. “Then the other side of it we applied it to basketball. That was the theme we carried out throughout the season. It also came down to winning five games in CIF to win the title so we could apply the all five concept.”

After losing starters to college last year, the team was extremely young. There were no seniors on either junior varsity or varsity so all of the players will be returning next year. Junior captains Nicole Nesbit ’10 and Nicole Hung ’10 led the team to the quarterfinals of state.

“Everybody had a role,” Hearlihy said. “I mean, Nicole Hung was known as our scorer and Nicole Nesbit was our assist person. Sydney Haydel was our fast break leader, she would get out, we would throw her the ball and she was always a great finisher. Amanda Horowitz did some great things defensively and offensively at times. Janine Zeldon ’10 was our three point shooter.”

They started out the season on a five-game win streak against league opponents, including a game against rival Notre Dame.

Less than a month later, Notre Dame was able to get revenge and beat the Wolverines by three points in a game at Harvard-Westlake. The Wolverines then lost the next two games against Chatsworth and league opponent Alemany.

“We had a real lull at the end of league,” Hearlihy said. “We all talked about it. We talked about what our goals were for the year and then we all came together to start our new season. We called it a new season going into a CIF title,” Hearlihy said.

The team started off CIF with a 39- point win over Duarte High School and continued on to beat San Marino, Oaks Christian and Windward to advance to the CIF Finals against Pacific Hills High School.

With very little time left in the game the score was tied at 57-57 and Pacific Hills had the ball. They shot but missed and Skylar Tsutsui ’11 grabbed the rebound. She was fouled, but missed her free throws.

The Wolverines very quickly got the ball and with just 33 seconds left in the game, Hung was able to shoot a layup and win the game for the Wolverine squad.

The following week the team went onto state playoffs where they beat Kingsburg High School by 43 points in the first round.

The team finished its season with a five point loss to Mater Dei Catholic in the quarterfinals of CIF.