The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

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 falls to San Mateo in battle for league’s top spot

Sophomore+Addie+Uhrich+dribbles+the+ball+on+offense%2C+looking+for+a+passing+opportunity+to+a+teammate.
Jeannine Chiang
Sophomore Addie Uhrich dribbles the ball on offense, looking for a passing opportunity to a teammate.

There is nothing more motivating than seeing an old, familiar face, coach your rival school. And when girls’ varsity basketball looked across the court on Friday, Jan. 26, they saw their former head coach Joe Dito, now standing next to the undefeated San Mateo High School. 

Despite the intensity of the rivalry, the Panthers (12-8 overall, 4-2 league) fell 41-32 to the Bearcats in what is likely their last opportunity to knock San Mateo from the top spot in the Lake Division. Although the Panthers hoped to claim the league title, the girls will settle for second place, qualifying for the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs in February.

“Going into the game, a lot was riding on our shoulders because of past experiences with [San Mateo’s] assistant coach. Overall, the game had a big impact on our league standings so everybody understood that it was a really important game. I think that kind of threw us off a little bit,” Sibley said.

From the very start, the Panthers wanted to make a statement but knew that the Bearcats weren’t going to go down easily. In a gym fueled with overpowering support for the opposing side, the squad knew their mission: to prove everyone wrong and win.

But it just wasn’t meant to be. In the beginning, the home crowd drove the Bearcats to a nine-point lead in the first quarter. That advantage grew to 12 points by the middle of the third quarter. 

Despite the deficit, the Panthers refused to quit. Rebounds from junior Hailey Miller and aggressive offense by juniors Miranda Sibley and Siena La Mark could not save the trailing group.

From intense emotions to the trickling heat of the gym, Sibley described the tough matchup against the Bearcats as an off-putting “dynamic.”

“We wanted this win as a team but after the game, it was definitely hard for us, losing like this. This was our hardest game in the whole season but in the end, we talked about what we did well, and what we could have worked on and that really helped us,” junior Jillian Kiniris said.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Senior Sofia Cavalieri and junior Miranda Sibley shake hands after scoring a basket.

  • Junior Ella McHenry jumps up to fight for the rebound.

  • Senior Sofia Cavalieri prepares to shoot a free throw after being fouled on.

  • Junior Miranda Sibley dribbles the ball across the court on offense.

  • Junior Jillian Kiniris attempts to shoot a lay up.

  • Junior Ella McHenry watches her teammate fight for the rebound after a failed shot attempt by San Mateo.

Even contending with the best team in the league was an impressive statement for a team that finished last season with a 4-15 overall, 1-6 league record. Each player has come a long way, growing as an athlete to bring different contributions to the team this year.

“We just looked at the positives of this season because even though we did lose against San Mateo, there were a lot of good things that happened, and we focused on that rather than the negative parts of that day,” Kiniris said. “Our communication on the court went really well.”

However, despite the effective communication, Kiniris believes a goal for future games is limiting the Panthers’ turnovers. These mistakes in crucial moments piled up, keeping the Panthers a step behind San Mateo. Nevertheless, Miller and Sibley exhibited much-needed leadership both on and off the courts in moments of stress. 

“[Miller and Sibley] took over the court very well by talking to the players. We had a lot of different lineups that day so they were able to talk to the people that either didn’t play as much or played a different position. They were able to talk to everyone, even players on the bench to make sure that we were all cheering each other on and making sure that even though this was an away game, we were still cheering on our teammates and being positive,” Kiniris said.

The Panthers will continue their season before the CCS playoffs in February as the current second seed in the Lake Division. Beyond the game itself, the girls have developed a familial bond that should fuel them to success come the postseason.

My favorite part is always the team aspect because you get to see your team every day. I really like the players on my team so even outside of school, we’re talking to each other, always texting, even off-season. The team never just goes away. You’re always there together.

— Jillian Kiniris

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Burlingame B
$560
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Burlingame High School - CA. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
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.
Donate to The Burlingame B
$560
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Burlingame B Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *