The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

Varsity girls basketball falters against Half Moon Bay 55-65 in CCS semifinals

Tiffany Zhu
Guard Claire Yu (10) prepares to pass the ball as a Cougar defends her. Claire scored two layups back to back in the second quarter during the CCS semifinals game.

The varsity girls basketball team succumbed to Half Moon Bay High School 55-65 in the CCS semifinals game on Feb. 22 at home. 

Since home CCS games are rare, the event drew a large crowd of parents as well as students and faculty from the lower, middle and upper school campuses.

Harker lost the tip off, but co-captain and guard Isabella Lo (11) recovered the ball, passing to co-captain and guard Claire Miao (12) for a layup. The crowd’s cheers of “Defense!” supported the Eagles as they held off the Cougars’ offense by blocking their rebounds, and after a 3-pointer from Claire, the Eagles led 10-2. The Eagles’ fouls led to free throws for the Cougars, but Harker continued to make advances. Co-captain and center Emily Mitnick (11) contributed with a layup followed by a 3-pointer from Isabella, ending the first quarter up 19-11. 

The Eagles started off the second quarter strong with a 3-pointer by forward Selena Chen (9), earning loud cheers from the audience. The Cougars continued making layups, tightening the score to only trail by two points. Harker responded with a layup from guard Isha Kotalwar (12), followed by a 3-pointer from Isabella. The Eagles continued to rebound the ball and after two layups from guard Claire Yu (10), the Eagles led 38-26 at the end of the first half. 

“We were thrilled that we were 12 points ahead at the end of the second quarter, but we realized that the work was not done,” Emily said. “We needed to stay disciplined and keep playing with the same intensity. There were things to work on, but we were also proud of ourselves for the way we performed in the first half.” 

Sanika Das (9) looks for an entry pass into the paint. Sanika drew Half Moon Bay’s center out to the 3-point line, opening more space for Harker to work with under the basket. (Kevin Zhang)

Despite the Eagles conceding a few points to Half Moon Bay early in the second half, Emily put Harker ahead 39-31 with a free throw. After a string of fouls against the Cougars, Claire M. made a free throw and 2-pointer. Isabella drove past defenders and passed to Claire M., who made another 2-pointer. The Cougars retaliated with a series of 3-pointers and free throws, ending the quarter 49-42 with Harker leading. 

During the last quarter, Half Moon Bay took their first lead of the game, setting the score to 49-50. After a free throw by Emily, the Cougars gained momentum and widened the gap to 50-57. In a pivotal moment, Emily navigated past defenders and made a crucial layup, the Eagles now only five points behind, and the crowd rallied with Harker’s spirited “color shout” chant. Nonetheless, the Cougars continued to score while Harker struggled to capitalize. With one final attempt by Isabella, the buzzer sounded, sealing the Cougars’ victory at 55-65. 

Despite the game’s outcome, assistant athletic director Alfredo Alves highlighted the Eagles’ energy throughout the match and commended the girls for their performance.

“They started off really hot, came out ready to play,” Alves said. “But just unfortunately, they didn’t get the win. Throughout the game, you could just tell how passionate they were and how much that game meant to them, so it was a fun game.” 

Team manager Sophie Yeh (9), who spends practices with the players, appreciates the close bond the girls share. She was proud of the team’s effort in the game and the overall season.

“This was definitely one of the best games they’ve done this year,” Sophie said. “They really pushed hard and gave it their all. I feel sad because I really wanted to see them head to NorCals, but they still did really well. Every single moment this season was honestly a highlight.”

Students, parents and faculty cheer at the girls basketball game on Feb. 22. Audience members shouted chants like “Defense!” throughout the game to encourage the players. (Ashley Mo)

The team ended their season with a final record of 18-6. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Tiffany Zhu
Tiffany Zhu, Reporter
Tiffany Zhu (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Tiffany hopes to meet more members of the Harker and journalism community and share topics she's passionate about with them. In her free time, she enjoys baking and watching all genres of movies.
Ashley Mo
Ashley Mo, Reporter
Ashley Mo (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Ashley hopes to write about stories both within and outside of the Harker community, form friendships on the journalism team and learn more about global news events. In her free time, she enjoys playing golf and listening to music.
Kevin Zhang
Kevin Zhang, Aquila Co-Managing Editor
Kevin Zhang (12) is a co-managing editor for Harker Aquila, and this is his third year on staff. This year, Kevin hopes to expand the scope of sports content and collaborate with more staff members in journalism. In his free time, Kevin enjoys playing basketball, pursuing photography and drawing in pencil (he finds shading particularly satisfying).

Comments (0)

All Harker Aquila Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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