BHS girls varsity basketball had a slow start to their game against Piedmont High School on Friday, Jan. 21, entering the second half with only 5 points to Piedmont’s 34.
“We started off really slow, we weren’t playing good enough defense, we weren’t getting back in transition and so we fell behind early,” assistant coach Willie Fleischman said.
Piedmont was able to pull off multiple fast breaks, getting the ball in the hoop before Berkeley High School could make it back to defend their court.
BHS point guard Liz Sanchez agreed, saying, “Definitely in the first quarter we could have been better at defense.”
In the third quarter, however, Berkeley had a turnaround. “We played much tighter defense, we moved the ball a lot better and we got shots up and we scored, which is something we didn’t do in the first half,” Fleischman said. With less than two minutes left in the third quarter, Berkeley brought their score up significantly to 14, although they still lagged far behind Piedmont’s 40.
Sanchez pointed to the end of the third quarter as a key moment for the team, saying that “there was a lot of ball moving up top and we got some points.”
Despite the momentum, Berkeley was unable to catch up to Piedmont’s significant lead, ultimately losing the game 20-57. Piedmont continued to find opportunities for fast breaks, including a run of three in a row at the end of the fourth quarter, leaving little time for Berkeley to fully get back into the game.
Piedmont is a strong team, with an 18-0 record this season and a first place ranking in their league. They were “well coached and very athletic,” according to Fleischman, who also pointed out that they have a lot of shooters and took advantage of rebounds well.
“They are fast movers, they move very quickly … they’re very aggressive — there was a lot of fouls,” said BHS forward Nyerie Findley.
BHS was disappointed to lose, but players still had positive thoughts about the game, and their teammates.
“We were swinging the ball around really good, our passes went very well and they were very direct, and usually that’s a struggle for us, but I feel like we did really good at that,” Findley said.
Sanchez and guard Jade Terry-Jones shared that there was positive energy on the bench and during their team’s time out in the fourth quarter.
“(We need to) just stay focused in from the beginning instead of waiting for the second half,” Fleischman said. “The first half of the season is over, hopefully now we turn it around and we come out in the second half and we beat some of the teams that have been beating us.”