Basketball is big in Lee Vining. Almost everyone plays, and those who aren’t hustling on the court are sure to be found in the bleachers, cheering on their classmates as they represent our high school. On game days, the high school holds an air of anticipation and excitement that represents a certain passion – a passion for the game of basketball. Though they haven’t always won, the LVHS girls’ basketball team has been working hard for the entire season, and recently, their hard work paid off tangibly in one huge, important victory.
On Tuesday, January 23rd, the Lady Tigers played the Trona Tornadoes in a home game and came out with a hard-fought win that is sure to go down in Lee Vining High School history. Last year’s game against Trona was certainly not a high point in the season, as the Tigers lost with a final score of 7-56. This year, however, the team was ready. After months of practicing their basketball skills– different strategies for defense and new plays for the offense–the Lady Tigers were prepared to come out strong, with pride, respect, and hustle. Most importantly, they were more than ready to come out with a win. “Going into the game I felt very nervous… But I knew we could win because we definitely clicked since the beginning of the season, and everyone had gotten so much better,” said sophomore Stephanie Gomez, who plays guard for the team. And sure enough, the team’s hard work paid off. After three long and hard fought quarters, the team pulled in the fourth quarter and ended the game with a solid victory of 43-34. Perhaps one of the most important factors that contributed to the lady tigers’ victory was their impressive teamwork. Rather than depending on one or two players to make all the points, four different players on the team were able to score in the double digits, and many others gave them multiple assists.
Lee Vining’s win was was monumental, particularly because Trona has gone undefeated and won first place in the Hi-Lo League for two years straight. Lee Vining was the first team to step up and break Trona’s winning streak, raising their ranking in league and bringing them closer to playoffs. The moment the buzzer sounded and the game ended, the team flooded off the court into a screaming pile of hugs and tears. It was an unforgettable moment that represented all the team’s hard work paying off and the realization that the team had just shown the world that, despite the small size and scrappy nature of LVHS, they can still win. “When I looked at the score I was overwhelmed with happiness because I wasn’t dreaming, and it was the best game I could have played ever,” reflected freshman Eva Francaviglia, another guard on the team. “I felt extremely proud to be a Lady Tiger,” added Gomez.