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Vars girls’ basketball soars into semifinals match after taking down Lions 85–46

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Senior guard Audrey Ng runs the fast break against the Galileo Lions on Feb. 24. Photo by Kelley Grade

O n a cold winter afternoon, the Cardinal’s offense was on fire. The varsity girl’s basketball team handled the Galileo Lions 85–46 in the first round of playoffs on Feb. 24.

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Going into the game, head coach Aki Kuwada expected his team to do well and adjusted his game plan accordingly. “We’re kind of looking forward to the next game and we have to do certain things to be ready for it,” said Kuwada before the game. “We will try some things against Galileo to see if they work and if not, we will have to make some more adjustments.”

Senior forward Rufina Lui dribbles the ball against a Lions defender. Photo by Kenny Dzib

To open the game, the Cardinals won the opening tipoff and wasted no time in getting points on the board. Sharp passing and fluid ball movement complemented sharpshooting. Led by six points each from both sophomore guard Katelyn Lee and junior forward Olivia Pan, the Cardinal offense ended the quarter 24–7 with a solid 14 point lead.

The Cardinals stayed hot in the second quarter and the points didn’t stop coming. Sophomore guard Alisa Petalver sunk a pair of three-pointers and a free throw, and senior guard Audrey Ng nailed three free throws and a pair of long jumpers to lead the Lowell attack, contributing seven points each. Offensive rebounding was not an issue either, allowing the Cardinals to have second-chance shots. On the defensive side, the Cardinals forced the Lions to commit turnovers, but failed to apply substantial pressure on one Galileo guard, who nailed three three-pointers. The Cardinals went into the half comfortably ahead 50–22.

The offense continued to soar, with junior forward Nomin Rinchin, who scored six points in the quarter on a powerful drive and a pair of tough putbacks.

Coming out of the half, the Cardinals continued to make shots, but Galileo began to make shots of their own too. On defense, the Cardinals did not rebound as well as they did in the first half. Nonetheless, the Cards ended the quarter ahead 68–33.

Sophomore guard Lauren Chan drives the ball past the Lions defender. Photo by Kenny Dzib

In the final quarter of play, the Lowell defense was persistent in going after loose balls despite being ahead by such a large margin. The offense continued to soar, with junior forward Nomin Rinchin, who scored six points in the quarter on a powerful drive and a pair of tough putbacks. The Cardinals won by a score of 85–46.

The Cardinals advance to the semifinals on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Kezar Pavilion against the second-seeded Lincoln Mustangs.

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Vars girls’ basketball soars into semifinals match after taking down Lions 85–46