The girls basketball team (5-1 overall) played against Lincoln (7-3 overall) on Dec. 12. The Dons took the victory beating the Mustangs by nine points, 70-61.
The girls had a strong start scoring a total of 19 points in the first quarter. They constantly drove to the bucket and were aggressive against the Mustangs. The quarter ended with Aragon up by eight points, 19-11.
In the second quarter, the Dons scored a total of 24 points. Sophomore point guard Lydia Manu had accurate and consistent passes which aided the Dons in this high scoring quarter. The quarter ended in a score of 42-29, with Aragon taking the 13 point lead.
The first half went exactly, if not better than the way the Dons wanted it, but this changed in the start of the second half.
The Dons started to make small, careless mistakes, such as bad passes, missed rebounds, along with a less clean defense.
The second half seemed to wake up the Mustangs, who started playing much more aggressively. Additionally, their shots were more consistent and they were able to score several three pointers. The Dons ended up scoring only nine points, a big reason being they started to relax, as they knew they had the lead.
“I think in the third quarter we relaxed a little bit as we knew we were ahead…I think we should have come out and fight just like we did in the first half.”
“I think in the third quarter we relaxed a little bit as we knew we were ahead,” said Manu. “I think we should have come out and fight just like we did in the first half.”
The quarter ended 53-42, with a strong performance from the Mustangs, but still unable to beat the lead Aragon built up in the first half.
However, Aragon did not let their mistakes from the third quarter continue. The Dons countered Lincoln’s pressure and increased aggressiveness by being just as aggressive and fighting back.
“We responded by being tougher than they were,” said sophomore guard and forward Nala Fainga. “We were mentally tougher and physically tougher. We kind of brought them down a bit by doing that.”
The Dons countered the Mustangs shooting by being stronger at the board increasing their rebounds. Junior center Lia Lilomaiava did a great job getting rebounds, driving to the basket and utilizing her fouls, scoring a total of seven points from the freethrow line. Similarly, Manu was fouled several times and scored a total of six points in the last quarter, four of which were from the freethrow line.
“We countered their shooting with great rebounding. Our post boxed out the girls very well,” said Manu. “We dominated on the boards … we killed them [on rebounds] and that’s what really helped us this game.”
The Dons were able to keep their lead against the Mustangs and finish the match with a score of 70-61.
Fainga attributes this win to hard work and communication.
“We did very well. We communicated very well, and overall we played our hardest today,” she said.
Manu added, “Our team played amazing, it’s such a big difference from last year. I give credit to just everyone on the team. They did their best and gave their hearts out.”
The Dons also defeated Westmoor (0-5 overall) 59-26 in an away game on Dec. 14.