Jamie Kim co-editor-in-chief
The girls varsity basketball team beat the Golden Valley High School Grizzlies 75-55 at home on Thursday, Feb. 15, in the first round of the 2018 CIF Southern Section Division 3A Girls Basketball Playoffs.
The two teams had very different regular seasons. The Normans were co-champions of Ocean League, with a league record of 9-1, and were ranked 146 in California. Conversely, the Grizzlies had a 1-9 league record and were ranked 471 in the state.
“I think we were expected to win because we were so highly seeded in our division, so we didn’t think that they would be as good as they were in the beginning,” forward Isabel Rund said. “But after halftime, we were able to get it together and come out with a win.”
This matchup was the first time the Normans played in Division 3A playoffs, having moved up a division after being crowned CIF-SS Division 4A Champions last season. The Normans consistently held a lead, ending the first quarter 21-15, the half 33-27 and the third quarter 56-42.
“We worked as a team and we played for each other. We moved the ball and played smarter,” guard Megan Saghian said.
The lead scorer on the home team was freshman guard Michelle Duchemin, packing a total of 25 points.
“It felt good especially since I started out bad, so coming into the second half, I knew I had to show out,” Duchemin said.
Saghian, who is also the captain, believes that the team needs to stay focused for the next game.
“In preparation for Saturday, we will obviously have another practice, but I think mentally we have to maintain a humble mindset and keep calm and poised,” Saghian said.
The team now advances to the second round of CIF playoffs and will play against Murrieta Mesa High School at their gym on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.