Girls’ Basketball ‘Shoots’ Ahead Against Tustin at the Start of the Winter Season


Maitri Allani

Junior girls’ basketball player Kira Watanabe aims to shoot for the basket, as the Tillers attempt to block her from making the hoop, while sophomore Nanami Jackson and junior Kalynne Abraham Mendez try to help.

Girl’s basketball started its season strong, winning 81-19 against Tustin High on Nov. 15 in the gym. Their next game is on Dec. 8 against Anaheim in Portola’s gym. 

“I think going down the stretch of more games, our competition is going to get harder, so that was kind of just like an opener for us, and I feel like we are capable of more,” junior basketball player Vianna Pineda said. 

During the first quarter, the Bulldogs gained an early lead scoring 18 points against the Tillers’ five. The most exciting shot of the match was when sophomore Nina Saiki made a shot while she was falling. 

In the second quarter, Pineda made two impressive three-pointers within 30 seconds. The Bulldogs entered halftime with a score of 52 against the Tillers’ 11.

By the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs were in the lead by a large margin, gaining 17 points in the last quarter and ending with a strong finish.

“Right now, I think we’re just continuing to build off of each game and just learn from the mistakes that we’re making in games and get better from that,” Pineda said. “I think we’ll definitely make it in the final round in the PCL, and hopefully we go on to CIF if we put our minds to it and keep working and have the same determination.”

CIF is the goal for the team, but according to the head coach, Brian Barham, they will need to put in a significant amount of work and effort to achieve that goal. 

Last year the team made it to second place in the Pacific Coast League. Though the team has not changed much compared to last year with only one senior graduating, there still are new players that gained a connection with the team. 

“The strength of our team is our depth,” Barham said. “We have some solid young talent who are willing and eager to step up. ”

Freshman Audrey Shiono, a first-year varsity player, said she has hope for the Bulldogs’ prospects this season.

“It feels great knowing that all our hard work from the summer and before paid off,” Shiono said. “I believe that our basketball team has a lot of potential to go far this year in league.”