JV girls’ basketball advances to championship match after taking down the KIPP Phoenix

JV girls’ basketball takes down the KIPP Phoenix 42–28 and advances to the championship match on Feb. 23. Photo by Leonard Caoili

The JV girls’ basketball team came into the semi-final playoff game against the KIPP Phoenix undefeated and hungry for the win. Lead by 13 points from sophomore forward Samantha Quach and 12 points from guard Alyson Lee, the Cardinals advance to the championship match taking down the KIPP Phoenix 42–28 on Feb. 23.


Going into the game, the Cardinals had a simple game plan: play well. According to assistant coach Matthew Magsanay, his team would have to react to the opposing defense, take good shots, and be hard on defense.

Sophomore guard Samantha Hum gets ready to pass the ball to a fellow Cardinal. Photo by Kenny Dzib

KIPP won the opening tipoff, but the Lowell defense did not allow the visitors to score on their opening possession. Fantastic ball movement and amazing chemistry helped the Cardinals score relatively easy layups. The team struggled to grab rebounds on both ends of the court, but the tight defense prevented the Phoenix from capitalizing on second chance opportunities. Lowell finished the quarter up 12–6.

Freshman guard Nicole Chan directs traffic for the Cardinals. Photo by Kenny Dzib

The second quarter opened with freshman guard Nicole Chan nailing a long three pointer. The unrelenting Cardinal defense caused the Phoenix to take tough shots and turn the ball over. However, the physical KIPP defense pressured the Cardinals into committing multiple turnovers. The Cardinals managed to maintain their lead, going into the half up 19–11.

Coming out of the half, the Cardinals continued to frustrate the KIPP offense, holding them to a mere two points throughout the entire quarter. KIPP supporters on the bleachers grew frustrated at the officiating, accusing the referees of making calls in favor of Lowell. “They are f***ing paid off,” one KIPP supporter said after they had thought that the officiating crew missed a call. On the court, Quach nailed five free throws to lead the Lowell attack. The Cardinals finished the third quarter up 28–13.

Head coach Christine Hosoda guiding the players on the court. Photo by Kenny Dzib

With a comfortable lead, Lowell seemed ready to cruise to victory and into the championship match. Minutes into the final quarter, however, the Phoenix finally capitalized on their stellar rebounding and scored a flurry of points, at one point getting within six points of Lowell. Unfazed, the Cardinals responded by tightening up their defense and speeding up their offense. At the end of the game, the Cardinals prevailed 42–28, moving into the championship match against the Washington Eagles.