Girls’ basketball is off to a hot start, with a much better season than last year. Standing at a record of 4-5, the Patriots have already won two more games this year than they won all last year.
The girls played well at the winter break tournament, winning one game and losing one game. Their first game was a win against Williamsport, 49-47. Stars, freshman Kaitlyn Mariani and senior Sivan Bennaim both had solid games, combining for 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The Patriots were down going into the fourth quarter and experienced leader Bennaim rallied the team for a comeback to win the game.
The next game against Century resulted in a loss. Sophomore Caitlin Kwan, and Mariani stole the show for the Patriots in this game, combining for 23 points, more than half of the team’s points. Senior Sivan Bennaim was also essential in this game, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out the ball with two assists.
This was a good learning experience for the team, according to Bennaim. “We haven’t played many games this season yet and many of my teammates still have little experience. This tournament was good for the experience and practice for close games like our first game against Williamsport,” Bennaim said.
The Patriots played Whitman on Jan. 1 and lost. This was a hard loss for the girls as they battled hard throughout the game but Whitman pulled away toward the end. Senior Miranda Wright was frustrated by the loss. “Obviously we all hate losing, but losing big is even worse. We’ll learn from this and become better,” Wright said.
The Patriots learned from the Whitman game and came out aggressive against Einstein on Jan. 8, winning 58-52. The girls put up more than 30 points in the first half, springing to a early lead. Bennaim was a dominant force in the paint, racking up a ridiculous 22 rebounds and 13 points, recording her first double-double of the season. Mariani also had a solid game all around, dishing out seven assists and scoring eight points.
The momentum from this game was destroyed by Churchill. On Jan. 10 with a 66-20 loss, Churchill’s defense was smothering the offense throughout the game as no one on Wootton could get anything going. The Patriots were in foul trouble since the first quarter and couldn’t get out of it. “It was a hard game for sure, we couldn’t figure out anything on offense and we didn’t know how to stop them. It was a rough game where we couldn’t move the ball and make the shots we needed but I think we learned a lot from this game, which we’ll use to win the next,” Bennaim said.
The game on Jan. 16 was too late to be included in this issue.
The girls’ have been playing much better than they’ve played the past couple seasons, and with addition of freshman Kaitlyn Mariani, this team has the potential to be good for a while.