The Cats’ offensive energy was on display right from the jump Tuesday night, leading to four layup opportunities in the first three minutes. But the defensive rotation was lax, and the Chargers capitalized, hitting four open threes in the frame, three of them from the corner. The distributed scoring of the Cats, with multiple buckets from senior captain Sabrina Belquist, junior Olivia Lo, and junior Ashley Poshard, gave the Cats a slim 15 – 14 lead at the end of one.
In the second quarter, the Cats found their defensive heart, utilizing full-court pressure to pester the Chargers into dribbling and passing errors. The Cats got three consecutive steals without the ball getting past half court, each leading to open layups: two for sophomore Morgan Burt and one for senior captain Sara Chiala, who put in 7 of the Cats’ 17 points in the quarter. The tough Cat defense held the Chargers to 4 in the period. The halftime score was 32 – 18 in favor of Los Gatos.
The third belonged to the seniors, as Belquist and Chiala combined for 11 of the Cats’ 15 in the frame. The Chargers did not go quietly, as their aggressive drives led to 12 points in the quarter, but the Cats extended their lead to 47 – 30 heading into the fourth.
Though Chiala did not score in the fourth, she had a career-high 13 points in the game. The Chargers battled back, cutting the lead to 10, but sophomore Jeanette Grasty hit a clutch three to stifle the attempted comeback. The Cats, for the first time in league play, had three players in double figures. They dribbled out the clock for a 57 – 43 win.
The victory moves the Cats to 6 – 3 in league play (15 – 6 overall), all alone in third place. They host the Lynbrook Vikings, who are currently tied for first, on Friday night.