Changing the name of the game, SMHS Girls Basketball had three buzzer-beater wins this season, finished league in second place, and moves on to the State Tournament this upcoming Tuesday.
Some major history has been made: they were the first SMHS girls basketball team in 14 years to beat SBHS (and they accomplished this twice this season, and they are the first SMHS girls basketball team in our school history to win the CIF Quarter Finals. Since the fall, they worked toward this, playing strong teams in preseason (and beating Oxnard High School in their first buzzer-beater win over winter break). They started league with a winning streak, faltered briefly at an away game at Lompoc and the home game against DPHS, and came back stronger than ever to qualify for playoffs. Not only did they beat Westminster away, disappointing a massive, vocal crowd there in support of Westminster, but they also beat Louisville in the Thunderhut, propelling them to last Wednesday’s CIF Semifinals.
In terms of Channel League awards, sophomore point guard Ellie Monson won defensive MVP. If you have seen her play this season, you know this to be well-deserved – she’s quick on her feet and never lets up on her marks. Commenting on their qualification for States, Monson said, “We’ve worked so hard and put so much time in.”
Senior point-guard and captain, Ariel Plourde, is ending her high school career strong, sending the SBHS home game into overtime with her buzzer-beater three-pointer and being acknowledged by Channel League as 1st team.
“I am proud of how far we’ve come and what we have to look forward to,” Plourde said. “I am excited to be part of the history being made and have confidence in our team chemistry to keep us going forward.” For her, highlights from this season include beating SBHS and making it to the semifinals of CIF.
The team’s other captain, junior Michelle Arellanes, also won 1st team and is responsible for 2 out of 3 of the team’s buzzer-beater wins, one of which won the Quarter Finals for SMHS.
“I’m just so proud of us. I still am replaying the whole game in my mind, and I love how we never let up and stuck with it throughout the entire 32 minutes. Our heads were in the game the whole time,” Arellanes said, regarding the Quarter Finals game against Louisville. “I love my team, and I’m so hyped for us. All the hard work and preparation we’ve put in is showcasing itself right now.”
2nd team awardee and the player who dropped 22 points in the playoff game against Westminster, sophomore guard, Mia Martinez-Tomatis said, “It’s cool to be a part of a team that’s making history.” The amount of sophomores on this record-breaking team bodes well for the SMHS girls basketball program’s future. Mia, Ellie, and the rest of the sophomores (Natasha Stapf, Natasha Bender, and Carley Nielsen) are just getting started.
Coach Tiffany Simms is “very proud of how the girls have played and been resilient coming back off of league and pushed through and gotten this far through playoffs.”
Simms said, “The chemistry and camaraderie is stronger and has grown as the season’s gone on, and we look forward to making history.”
If you didn’t come watch the team play this season, you better be out there in the stands next season. As junior player and 2nd team awardee Oceanna Bauer said, “Come out to support because we’re better than the boys.”