Big game ends season for girls varsity basketball


Mao Hayashi shoots a perfect free throw.

The Rangers territory, otherwise known as Smithson Valley High School, is where the intense girls basketball game kicked off. The matchup between Pieper and Smithson Valley has been a long-awaited game since they are so called ‘rivals’. As soon as the first whistle blew, everyone in the stands knew this was going to be a good one.

Pieper starts out the game strong with point guard Kai Stratton scoring a pull-up jumper to take the lead. After this, the Warriors took off and never looked back. With point after point, Pieper seemed like they could never miss a shot. The gym environment was a thrilling place to be in- with all the fans going crazy over every shot. By the end of the first quarter, Pieper managed to hold the Rangers to only 10 points. 

Smithson Valley certainly did not like being behind in their house, and they proved this when they came out with a strong press. Pieper was a little hesitant at first against it, but once they got used to the defense, the Warriors were unstoppable. With an incredible move to the basket, small forward Julie Dominiguez scores with a pass fake, underhand finish. Smithson Valley manages to stay in the game with a score of 18-29 at half.

Something must have gone off in shooting guard Lanie Jimenez’s mind, because right off the bat, she opened the third quarter with a three so deep that the girl guarding her did a full 360 in awe of what just took place.

As the final quarter approached, Smithson Valley managed to crawl their way back in, closing the point gap by only six points. One of the Warriors’ best players, Alisha Peavy, got into foul trouble with four fouls. By that point, the game was going back and forth-point for point- after the Rangers gained some momentum. Allison Howe for Smithson Valley was a large contributing factor to their comeback with amazing moves in the paint. The Rangers did eventually pull ahead with an ‘and one’ made with only 5 minutes remaining.

As the clock ticked down, Alisha Peavy fouled out after attempting to take a charge. Smithson Valley put more pressure on the ball than ever before, but Kai Stratton handled it well. With only 40.8 seconds left, the Rangers led by four. Small forward, Christine Balderama, was put to the test when she got the opportunity to put two free throws in. Christine did in fact make both, but this was not enough to pull ahead. In the end, the Rangers walked away with a win. The final score was 54-48 and brought an end to the Pieper girls varsity basketball 22-23 season.