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The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

Girls’ basketball defeats Capuchino in final minutes

Junior+Ella+Mchenry+hits+a+free+throw+after+getting+fouled+by+Capuchino+during+an+away+game+on+Wednesday%2C+Dec.+6.+%0A
Jeannine Chiang
Junior Ella Mchenry hits a free throw after getting fouled by Capuchino during an away game on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

Girls’ varsity basketball continued its strong start against Capuchino High School, winning its sixth contest of the year on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The Panthers (6-1) have already eclipsed last season’s (5-19) win total. After Burlingame’s 46-35 loss to the Mustangs last year, this season’s squad was ready to make a comeback — and a statement victory.

Head coach Ned Diamond, who has over 25 years of coaching experience, has brought his expertise to the program in his first year. Right from the start, the Panthers proved they were hungry for a win. Junior Hailey Miller gained possession on offense after winning the jump ball and combined with junior Miranda Sibley for a quick-opening bucket.

Aside from Miller, Sofia Cavalieri, the team’s only senior, showed much-needed leadership both on and off the court. Not only did she bury a three-pointer, helping the Panthers jump out to a 7-5 lead after the first quarter, but she was supportive of her teammates while on the bench,  cheering, clapping and counting down the shot clock. 

“We had a good full-court press, which led to a lot of baskets… I think what’s also important is our supportive environment with the players and the coach [throughout the game],” sophomore Haleh Ansari said. 

However, the Mustangs weren’t easily stymied. Despite Ansari and Miller’s continuous efforts on both sides of the floor, the girls led by just one point at halftime.

Tired and exasperated, the Panthers struggled defensively in the third quarter. Capuchino scored 14 points in eight minutes, giving the Mustangs a four-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“When we started getting down, it was tough because sometimes things are said between coaches and the players and that brings down the mood because people get frustrated,” Sibley said. “When you’re losing a lead, the team supporting each other drove us to push the ball better and make better shots. We wanted to make sure that we could get the lead back.”

And they sure did. Trailing by three with four minutes left, junior Natalie Gyde hit a pair of clutch three-pointers in less than 30 seconds, giving Burlingame the edge. The mood in the gym shifted, as the quick turnaround stunned the crowd.

We never lost hope. We knew that we could beat this team. We knew that we were better so we just kept going. We definitely did not get down [even throughout the difference in the score].

— Haleh Ansari

Sibley knocked in a free throw to seal the win, their sixth of the season. Judging by the Capuchino game, their impressive start has been a product of demonstrated strong chemistry and resilience. 

When Gyde and junior Ella McHenry shared a hug after Gyde’s two three-pointers, it seemed the Panthers’ comeback would pay off. 

“At that point, I was really happy for [Gyde] because she had two really good shots. I felt a lot more confident about our situation in the game, and I felt like there was a lot more hope that we could win,” McHenry said.

Sibley said that a personal goal of hers is to continue building a strong bond with the team. She believes that having more fun and creating closer relationships will contribute to more wins in the coming games.

“Our goal was to show Capuchino what we really could do because last year, we really underperformed,” Sibley said. “The way we played and the way we worked together and put our hearts onto the court… I was really proud of how the team played aggressively, and we played way better than what we were expecting.”

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Jeannine Chiang, Web Editor
Jeannine Chiang is a junior at Burlingame High School and a second-year journalism student. She is excited to continue journalism as the Web Editor this year. Chiang is involved with many clubs in the school and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and watching her favorite TV shows.
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