First published in the Jan. 27 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
More than a month had passed since the San Marino High School girls’ varsity basketball team had faced Monrovia during the Claremont Webb Tournament and the Wildcats must be wondering what hit them on Friday night.
San Marino lost 44-35 when the two squads met on Dec. 11 but completely turned the tables with a 53-43 victory in the rematch against the Wildcats.
The win lifted the Titans’ overall record to 10-6 (2-1 in the Rio Hondo League).
“We are a much-improved team from when we first faced them,” said head coach Liz Reuter. “I think as competitors we are always left wanting a little more, but we are happy with the effort today.”
Freshman Kailey Woo led San Marino with 28 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Elaina Lee chipped in with 10 points, eight steals and six rebounds and Maddie Emmons added nine points, six rebounds and four steals for SMHS.
Chloe Lin added four points, five rebounds and two blocked shots and Elaine Wu recorded five rebounds, four steals and four assists for the visitors, who took the floor without usual starters Gianna Karkafi and Malia Yu.
“We knew going into the game it was going to be rough without Gianna and Malia,” said Reuter. “Each of our starters had to step up in different ways. Kailey was able to be effective against Monrovia’s zone and her teammates were able to get her the ball. She is a lot to handle inside. Maddie and Elaine battled all night for rebounds and forced Monrovia to turn the ball over. Today was the best defensive effort I have seen from Elaine and her length and athleticism was a big key for us.”
Reuter also praised Lin, who the coach said “has been working hard all season and she is playing with much more confidence since coming back from winter break.”
Lee, in Reuter’s estimation, “was again our stable leader, like she has been all year. It was great to see her hit some three-point shots in the second quarter. That forced Monrovia to spread out their zone.”
San Marino hosts La Cañada tomorrow in a league encounter at 5:15 p.m.