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Vars girls’ basketball celebrate graduating seniors in 67–30 win over the Lions

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Senior guard Erin Li dribble against the defender in Lowell’s 67–30 win against the Galileo Lions at home on Feb. 13. Photo by Kenny Dzib

The varsity girls’ basketball team mauled the Galileo Lions by a score of 67–30 on Feb. 13.

This was the last regular season home game for the seniors. Nearing the end of four years together, this year’s senior class has grown closer than ever. “My teammates are like my only friends because we’re with each other 24/7,” senior co-captain and guard Audrey Ng said. “I am going to miss them the most.”

The atmosphere was happy but sad. “It’s great for the seniors because they get recognized for their hard work and sad for the coaches because we hate to see them leave,” head coach Aki Kuwada said. “I’ve been coaching here for 12 years and these are the best captains we’ve had.”

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Before the game, fellow players introduced the seniors one by one, told their stories, thanked them for their commitment and presented each with flowers, a massive head shot poster and a gift box covered in photos.

“It’s great for the seniors because they get recognized for their hard work and sad for the coaches because we hate to see them leave.”

Going into the game, the Cardinals knew they were up against an undersized Lions team that struggled during league play. “We’re going to have the seniors play as much as possible tonight even if they don’t usually start,” Kuwada said before the game. The game plan was to let the seniors play as much as possible one last time on their home court and thank them for their hard work and commitment to the girls’ basketball team.

Senior guard Kirsten Kuang holding the gift box covered in photos. Photo by Kenny Dzib

Lowell opened the game with a starting roster consisting of only seniors. The Cardinals had no trouble scoring early in the first quarter. As the opening quarter went on, turnovers became a problem for both teams. The Cardinals managed to end the quarter ahead 12–7.

The Cardinals reduced the amount of turnovers in the second quarter. Over the course of the second quarter, the seniors were substituted out for the normal rotation. Sophomore guard Alisa Petalver scored 10 of the Cardinals’ 25 points. On defense, Lowell suffocated the Lions on defense, holding them to a mere eight points. The Cardinals outscored the Lions 25 points to 10, finishing the second quarter with a commanding 33–15 lead.

The Cardinals started the third quarter picking up right where they left off, continuing their monsoon of point scoring. Superior ball movement allowed Lowell to take open shots. If they missed any shots, the team often got the ball back on solid rebounding efforts by senior forward Sabrina Serafica and junior forward Joanne Thai. The Cardinals ended the third quarter up 47–26.

Senior guard Audrey Ng drives past a Galileo defender. Photo by Kenny Dzib

In the final quarter, Lowell held the Lions squad to a mere four points while dropping 20 points themselves. The Cardinals dismantled the Lions 67–30. By the end of the game, all the seniors scored in the win, making it a sweet finish to a bittersweet night.

The Cardinals prepare to face off against the Galileo Lions again on Friday at Lowell in the playoffs.

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Vars girls’ basketball celebrate graduating seniors in 67–30 win over the Lions