La Jolla Country Day women’s basketball defeats Troy High 51-31 in Regional CIF Playoff

By Michael Ragovin

La Jolla Country Day School Torreys women’s varsity basketball team hosted the Troy High School Warriors in the next round of CIF playoff games, with the Torreys winning 51-31 on March 8, 2013.

The victory was never really in doubt and was even more impressive because one of Country Day’s starting five was unable to play due to illness. The team never missed a beat and just did what they do best: win.

The game started out slowly. With 2:40 left in the first period, only eight points had been scored, all by the Torreys.

The scoring consisted of a two-point jumper by Kelsey Plum after intercepting a pass, a free throw and then a long 3-pointer by Brianne Yasukochi, and another 2-pointer by Plum. Troy missed on a drive to the basket and multiple offensive rebound opportunities. Country Day then scored on an Isabel Aguirre free throw, a Yasukochi layup and a Plum offensive rebound, closing the first period at 13-1, Torreys.

The second quarter began with the Warriors getting a defensive rebound and taking it to the other end of the court for a layup with 7:29 remaining in the second period. Plum hit a jumper from the baseline and the score was 15-3 at the seven-minute mark.

Scoring picked up again with 4:46 remaining in the period on a layup by the Warriors after traveling the length of the court. With 4:18 left in the period, Mai-Loni Henson drilled a 3-pointer to make to score 18-5. The Warriors then missed a shot and an offensive board opportunity, but were fouled and got both free throws making the score 18-7 at the 3:55 mark.

After another three by Henson and with 3:29 left in the period, the Torreys led 21-7. The Warriors missed from under the basket and failed to convert two free throws. The only score the rest of the period was a free throw by Plum.

There is something to be said for the Country Day defense, as holding any team to seven points for an entire half is quite an accomplishment.

Though Plum missed a three to begin the third period, on the Torreys next possession she got nothing but net from behind the arc. Country Day was ahead 25-7 with a 1:07 gone in the third.

With six minutes remaining in the thirdquarter, Troy made a short jumper and closed in on double digits at 25-9. The Warriors got the rebound off Plum and went coast-to-coast, laying it up and in with 5:44 left in the period. Plum scored on a drive to the basket and Country Day led by 16.

The Warriors then hit on a 10-foot jumper to make the score 27-13 with 3:50 left in the third. Plum drove to the basket and put it through. On the next play, with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter, Plum got a rebound and made a long pass to Henson for a layup. The Warriors got a layup, a free throw and a three-point play. Plum hit on a 12-foot jumper and the quarter ended 35-19.

The fourth quarter began with Yasukochi intercepting a pass, but missing the layup. However, she converted two free throws less than a minute into the fourth period.

The Warriors made a free throw, and Henson did the same. Yasukochi made both ends of a one-and-one, making the score 40-20 with 5:53 remaining in the game. Troy was fouled on the way to the basket and made both free throws. Plum soon scored on a layup and a free throw and Country Day was ahead 43-22 with 4:27 left in the game. Plum then went the length of the floor with a rebound to score it.

A Warrior got fouled in the act of shooting and made one free throw, giving the Torreys a comfortable 22-point lead. Troy then scored on a free throw, a backdoor layup and another free throw before Plum hits Henson with a no look pass under the basket for two, holding a 21-point lead at 47-26 with 2:34 left in the game. The Warriors hit a three and Yasukochi intercepts to make a long pass to Henson who scored from underneath.

The Torreys score two more on a Plum putback and Troy scored on a drive to the basket to end the scoring at 51-31.

When asked if taking over at the end of the game is just natural, Plum said “Coach puts us in a position to be successful. My teammates (are) setting screens and passing the ball. My job is to score. It may look I take over, but it’s just our team playing.”

Not a textbook win, however it sends La Jolla Country Day to the next round: Semi-finals of the CIF SoCal Regional Championships on March 12 in Los Angeles.