Sam Bernstein staff writer
Before tipoff, there was a short ceremony celebrating their 2017 season in which they went 22-10 and won the CIF Southern Division 4A playoffs. The girls recieved their championship rings and unveiled their championship banner.
The varsity girls team beat the Vikings by a score of 41-32. The 13-4 (3-0) Normans were coming off a win against El Segundo. The Normans faced the 11-8 (2-1) Vikings, who were coming off a vicotry against the CAM Rebels at the MLK challenge.
The Normans started off slow, missing three-point shots and losing out on rebounds in the first half. The team also had trouble defending in transition and gave up several looks in the paint.
Sophomore point guard Arbri Gillis and freshman guard Michelle Duchemin made deep shots to keep the game close. However, the Normans missed multiple opportunities to take the lead early with poor rebounding and soft post defense.
In the second half, the tide began to turn for the Normans. As the crowd grew, the Normans began to take flight. Gillis commented on the crowd factor in the second half.
“The energy of the crowd shows me why I’m there. Even if you airball a shot or miss a free throw, it doesn’t matter and they’re still supportive. It’s all the team really needs on the court,” Gillis said.
In the third quarter, Normans’ center sophomore Chantal Moawad found success down low and connected on several opportunities in the post. Moawad, who was the tallest player on the floor, also found success driving the ball to the basket.
The Normans began to find success in transition as the team’s focus intensified during the second half. Gillis, who completed key passes during the second half, commented on the halftime adjustments.
“During the halftime talk, we had to pull ourselves together and say, ‘If we want to win this, we have to work together as a team.’ We had to work together as a team and we needed to pass the ball and make plays,” Gillis said.