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Ending on a good note The girls’ basketball team beat Palos Verdes on Tuesday despite their lack of energy. Ending their season at second place in Bay League, the team looks forward to playing in the CIF playoffs, which start next week. by Alina Bieschke

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SeaHawk domination. 1. Senior Taylor Smith shoots in game against Palos Verdes on Tuesday. 2. Sophomore Tori Lee passes. “We played without energy and intensity but we still won because we are a more skilled team overall,” Lee said. The girls hope to make it far in the CIF playoffs, which start next week.

The Palos Verdes girls’ basketball team was ready to face RUHS with a slight home advantage on Tuesday, but RUHS arrived all too aware of their previous victory, and ended up winning 57-35. “It was a successful win,” sophomore Amiete Nyingifa said. “The fact that it was our second to last game made the team more anxious and ready to win.” The team’s recurring problem of starting slow was caused by a different reason this time. Earlier in the season, RUHS beat Palos Verdes by about 30 points. While the large gap in scores was comforting, it may have caused the team to relax a little too much. “We did lack the energy. [The players] were probably looking ahead and thinking that this game was not going to be as difficult,” coach Marcelo Enriquez said. “In that sense, it was a little more challenging to motivate them.” Junior Natalie Sisto also noticed the team’s idleness at the start of the game. “We went into the game with low focus and energy since we beat them by 30 points last game, but we were still able to play hard and pull out a win as a team,” Sisto said. Sisto also sees this issue coming up in multiple games. “[We need] to start coming out from the beginning with high focus and intensity,” Sisto

said. Although Palos Verdes was an “easy” team to beat this season, it had not always been this way. “We normally do come out successful [against Palos Verdes], but we lost to them last year,” Enriquez said. According to Enriquez, two of Palos Verdes’s seniors moved on to play basketball in college last year; in contrast, there are no seniors on the team this year. Apart from Palos Verdes, RUHS had some strong points in this game to contribute to their victory. “Our defense is doing well,” Enriquez said. “We’re doing much better in that category. I’d also say we’re moving the ball better.” With improvement and fresh wins to back the team, Sisto does not feel nervous about the approaching playoffs after their last game, which is against Leuzinger on Feb. 7. “I’m pumped. I’m excited to see the teams we’re going to play and see what it feels like to be in a CIF playoff game since this is my first year on Varsity,” Sisto said. Coach Enriquez is also excited for the playoffs, which look promising. “We have a good opportunity to do well in the playoffs. We’re coming back from injuries and starting to look healthier as a team,” Enriquez said. Based on the game against Palos Verdes, Sisto knows the team’s communication, a common and constant area for improvement, still needs a lot of work. “Our communication was good enough to win [Tuesday’s] game, but to have success in the upcoming playoff games against harder teams, we definitely need to increase our communication on the court,” she said. “After the next week of practices, we’ll be prepared.”

Boys’ soccer loses to Palos Verdes by Micah Ezzes

A late goal in a close match was all that was needed for the boys’ soccer team to lose to Palos Verdes 1-0 Tuesday. “We fell asleep for fifteen minutes,” senior Colin Jackson said. “When you play good teams, it will only be a matter of time before they score.” Other players agree with Jackson that they had a “mental lapse.” “We stopped pushing out our players from the back, which caused constant pressure from PV,” senior Enzo Mattucci said. The team now may not make it to CIF playoffs. They are fourth in Bay League, meaning that they may not move on unless they get a win against Leuzinger today. “If we beat Leuzinger, we are in CIF,” Mattucci said. “But if we lose, then we still have a good chance of making playoffs, but we will be facing much harder teams.” Jackson is upset that the team did not

work harder to secure themselves a spot in CIF playoffs. He is also upset that the team let it come down to their final game of the season to decide if they will make the playoffs or not. “We are all very disappointed,” Jackson said. “We all know that we could’ve won Bay League, but too many times this season, we beat ourselves. We allowed ourselves to become too cocky and we lost games because of it.” The team now prepares to face Leuzinger again. At their first meeting, Leuzinger came away with a 2-1 victory in overtime. “Before our game against Leuzinger, we need to find our winning attitude again,” Jackson said. “We are just going to have to play as hard as we can and pressure Leuzinger the whole game,” Mattucci said. “It is going to be hard with multiple starters sick but we are still going to try our best.” According to Jackson, if the team does

make it to CIF playoffs, they don’t have time to worry about how they will do in the tournament. “[The team agrees] that we need to take this one game at a time,” he said. “Right now, Leuzinger is the next game.” Mattucci believes the team just needs to get everyone ready to play. “We need everyone to start taking practice seriously,” he said. Despite the recent shortcomings, Mattucci believes that the team still has the potential to do well and make the best of the rest of this season. “We can still go far in CIF as long as we get in the mindset to win,” he said. Jackson agrees that the team can still do well, but believes that the team must first get past its recent losses and look forward to succeed. “We just need to take these next games one at a time, because the only game we are guaranteed is the next game,” Jackson said.

PHOTO BY JENNY OETZELL

Thief. Junior Dustin Herold runs down the field, trying to steal the ball from Palos Verdes player.

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