First published in the Feb. 17 print issue of the San Marino Tribune
The San Marino High School girls’ basketball team entered the playoffs courtesy of an at-large bid, but after Saturday’s decisive 57-27 win at Packinghouse Christian Academy in Redlands in the first round of CIF Division 5AA postseason play, the Titans are simply “living large.”
The long drive didn’t bother the Titans in the least as San Marino forged out to a 40-9 halftime lead before cooling their jets in the second half.
Junior Gianna Karkafi led SMHS with 14 points and eight rebounds but received plenty of assistance. Senior Maddie Emmons scored 10 points, added six steals and provided the defensive spark that shot down the Bears and helped the Titans advance to the second round. Senior Elaina Lee played a solid all-around game, contributing 10 points, four steals, four rebounds and three assists while freshman Kailey Woo added eight points and two steals.
“There are a lot of positives to take away from our performance tonight,” said Titans’ head coach Liz Reuter. “Defensively, we came out ready to compete and it was our goal to get out and pressure Packinghouse from the start. Our pressure turned into a lot of fast breaks for us and once we settled into the game, we were able to execute.”
With the win, San Marino improved to 13-11 overall after finishing the Rio Hondo League campaign in fourth place with a 4-6 mark. But San Marino’s stock is clearly rising in Reuter’s second season.
“We talk a lot about playing a good team game, and that’s exactly what we did tonight,” Reuter added. “Every single member of this team found ways to contribute, and as a coach there’s not much more I could ask for.”
San Marino hosted Lancaster’s Eastside High School in the second round last night; the result was too late for the Tribune’s press deadline.