The Cats had a great crowd in the stands Tuesday night, as they started league play against Palo Alto. The visiting Vikings started strong, with their floor general Carly Martin hitting two quick 3-pointers. The Cats’ scoring in the first quarter was limited to 7 points, all from junior Ashley Poshard. The Vikings’ pressure depressed the Cats’ desire to run. The Cats were down 10 – 7 after one.
The Vikings turned up the heat in the second quarter, finding seams to exploit in the Cat defense, resulting in several layups. They also out-rebounded the Cats in the quarter, leading to additional buckets. Senior Sabrina Belquist started to find her scoring groove, putting in three buckets, and freshman Casey Brennan finished a couple layups when the Cats broke through the Viking pressure. Even so, the deficit increased in the quarter, with the Vikings taking a 27 – 18 lead into halftime.
The Cats regrouped a bit during halftime and started their run in the third, getting deep buckets from Belquist, junior Carlee King, and sophomore Jeanette Grasty. Seeing the ball go through the net also sparked the Cat defense, limiting the Vikings to only three baskets in the quarter. They cut the lead to 2 points before the Vikings made a basket at the end of the third quarter. With eight minutes remaining, the Cats were down 33 – 29.
Despite the crowd energy and the success in the third, the Cats were not able to sustain the comeback in the fourth and had to watch Palo Alto collect offensive rebounds and bleed the clock to end the game. When the final buzzer sounded, the Cats were down 45 – 34 with a 0 – 1 record in league. This game marks the halfway point of the season. The Cats have a record of 8 – 4 through the first twelve games. The travel to Saratoga on Friday to take on the Falcons, who currently hold a league record of 1 – 1.