Varsity girls basketball team faces Santa Clara High School in scrimmage


Heidi Zhang

Freshman Dylan Williams dribbles down the court while evading a Santa Clara High School player. This is the girls basketball team’s second scrimmage of the season.

by Heidi Zhang, Humans of Harker Videographer

The varsity girls basketball team played against Santa Clara High School in a preseason scrimmage on Tuesday. Because this game was a scrimmage, the score was reset after every quarter.

Squeaks of basketball shoes echoed against the new gym floor as the Varsity Girls team warmed up for their matchup against the Santa Clara High School Bruins on Wednesday afternoon. Captains Selin Sayiner (12), Satchi Thockchom (12) and Akhila Ramgiri (11) shouted words of encouragements to the team during their drills.

Following the tip off, the eagles took first possession of the ball. Akhila Ramgiri (11) opened the scrimmage with a three-pointer followed by Satchi Thockchom (12) and Jennifer Hayashi (11) scoring two points each within the first four minutes. Santa Clara High School soon caught up, but Harker ended up taking the first quarter lead, 10-7. The second quarter resulted in a 8-8 tie.

The second half of the game proved to be a rough time for the eagles as they suffered a 22-3 loss in the third quarter, as well as a 20-7 loss in the final quarter.

“I think we did a pretty good job as a team to perform at a high level at the beginning of the season,” captain Selin Sayiner (12) said. “Hopefully we can continue this momentum into the regular season. A big thing we have trouble with, especially with such a young team, is the physicality of the sport. We’re typically undersized. This year we have some height but when you’re in a matchup with someone bigger than you, you really have to fight for it. Whether it’s for the rebound or 50-50 ball, we need to hustle and try as hard as we can.”

Since defense is such a central component of the game, the girls hope to build on their cohesion as a team by trusting each other.

“In the second half we definitely have to improve handling pressure because we didn’t hold out that well,” captain Akhila Ramgiri  said. “There were many turnovers. We need to work on trusting each other more on the defense and in the press break. Also on offense, just knowing we can pass to anyone.”

Because scrimmages do not count for the team’s record, they use the opportunity to take risks and learn what to improve on for future games. This scrimmage against Santa Clara gave the girls a chance to see how they worked in different lineups and positions.

“A lot of the girls have so much potential and this season is where we’re really going to tap into it,”  assistant coach Joan “Joanie” Marciano said. “All of them are like little dynamites, and once we light that spark, it’s going to be a big explosion. We want that to happen this season, where we have a star team. I see so much growth with the girls and we just want to make sure all the girls have that confidence. We as the coaches have confidence in them, but they need to trust themselves.”

The team faces their next opponent at 12 p.m. on Nov. 30 at Pescadero High School.