Girls’ varsity basketball sinks Terra Linda with 61-20 victory

On Saturday, Jan. 7, the girls’ varsity basketball team claimed an important win over Terra Linda (TL) with a final score of 61-20. The starting lineup, consisting of players Kitty White, Bella Hann, Maya Saibel, Ingrid Houtkooper and Ru Todd, managed to secure the tip-off, and they never looked back.

With her eye on the ball, senior Bella Hann prepares to receive the jump ball for Redwood.

Within the game’s first two minutes, Redwood put up five points and left TL with zero. Sophomore Maya Saibel drove to the hoop while receiving a foul from TL, leaving her with two free throws which she took advantage of, making both. Sophomore Lilly Grand was subbed in with three minutes and 53 seconds left in the second quarter, gaining two points with 49 seconds left before halftime. 

As the end of the second quarter grew near, the girls hustled to maximize the lead on the scoreboard. With nine seconds left in the second quarter, senior Maddie Sofnas dropped in a two, and senior Reese Bennett shot a two-point buzzer-beater to end the half 38-12.

The momentum going into halftime was game-changing, but it was up to the team to continue that play in the second half. While Redwood’s big lead may seem like luck, freshman Kitty White explains how the team was able to keep the energy up and momentum going.

“Our team dynamic is great because we all have this connection where we know where each other are, so ball movement is key and leads us to make those open shots,” White said.

The girls gather for one last group huddle before the first quarter to discuss strategies and boost morale.

Fresh into the third quarter, Redwood began aggressively. As Terra Linda blazed down the court and attempted a shot, Bella Hann secured the rebound and passed to Ingrid Houtkooper, who scored a deep three, furthering the Giants’ lead. 

As Redwood managed to make most open shots, Todd emphasized the changes that had to be made with respect to TL.

“We don’t normally call out sets while in transition, which is something we did. I think it showed how far we’ve come that we were able to do that,” Todd said. 

With one minute and 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter, senior Emma Tanaka was fouled and gained one point for Redwood. Tanaka continued her hustle and secured a two-pointer with just one minute left in the game. 

The victory meant a lot to the team which Todd reflected on.

“As a team, everybody was shooting and attacking well. I think it really shows all the dedication we have put into practice, since our last few games and everything [that] came together for this win,” Todd said.

 The next game for the Giants is tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 10, when the girls’ abilities will be tested as they face off against rival Marin Catholic, the No. 1 team in the district.