By Staff Writer Anika Arora
MSJ hosted the 13th annual Girls Junior Varsity (JV) Hardwood Classic from December 5 to December 7. The tournament, a competition of eight Bay Area JV teams, is a MSJ tradition held as a fundraiser for team apparel, tournament fees, and the end-of-season banquet. This year, high schools from Palo Alto, Newark Memorial, Valley Christian, Campolindo, Mills, Aragon, and Leland, joined MSJ.
During the tournament, the Warriors played without one of their captains — Sophomore Allyson Mendoza — who was out because of a concussion. On the first day, the Warriors suffered a close loss to the Leland High School Chargers with a score of 42-53. Keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, the Warriors fought hard until the last minute but fell just short of a win.
The team was able to bounce back the next day with a win against the Aragon High School Dons. Sophomore Aditi Shankar scored numerous three pointers in the second quarter, leading the Warriors to outscore the Dons 29-4 by the end of the first half. Maintaining their strong offense and lockout defense, they ultimately beat the Dons 56-12.
The next day, The Warriors faced the Palo Alto High School Vikings in the consolation final. From the beginning, the game consisted of strong defense, with many fouls and turnovers from both teams. After a neck and neck first quarter, the Warriors picked up their game with multiple fast breaks from Co-Captain Sophomore Erin Ta and three pointers from Freshman Katelyn Tran. After the stronger second quarter, they finished with a seven point lead at the end of the first half. In the second half, the Warriors’ fast paced ball movement led to many jump shot opportunities, and they clinched the consolation 45-25, winning fifth place overall. “I think we definitely performed the best in the last game because we […] had better teamwork than the first two games and learned from our early mistakes,” Co-Captain Sophomore Marianne Chuang said.
Following the end of the tournament, JV Coach Tan Tran awarded Sophomore Mira Nair with the Sportsmanship Award, and Freshman Katelyn Tran with the All-Tournament Award. “Through the tournament, Katelyn hit a lot of threes — as usual — and Erin made some good moves. Mira and Sahiti were also very helpful since they got a lot of rebounds,” Chuang said.
The Warriors’ first round opponent, the Leland High School Chargers, took the championships with a 52-27 win over the Newark Memorial High School Knights in the finals. The Mills High School Vikings won third place against the Valley Christian High School Warriors.
As of now, the Warriors only have one loss and plan to work towards their goal of losing fewer than four games and becoming MVAL champions.
Photos by Staff Writer Anika Arora