Hornets Annihilate Arroyo Dons, 71-24

Ben Wiley -- AHS freshman Marisa Allen (#32) goes up to grab a rebound in the Hornets’ 71-24 victory over Arroyo High last Friday at the Hornets’ Nest.
Ben Wiley -- AHS freshman Marisa Allen (#32) goes up to grab a rebound in the Hornets’ 71-24 victory over Arroyo High last Friday at the Hornets’ Nest.

Hornets Annihilate Arroyo Dons, 71-24

The Alameda High School (AHS) women’s basketball team resoundingly defeated the visiting Arroyo Dons of San Leandro by the score of 71-24. The Hornets improved to 7-0 while the Dons fell to 2-8.

The Dec. 16 non-league encounter was played in front of a small crowd featuring supporters of both teams as well as members of the AHS band. The Hornets jumped out to an 18-4 lead and never looked back en route to blowing out the overmatched Dons who didn’t really give the hosts a challenge at any point in the game.

When employed, Alameda’s full-court pressure defense really frustrated the Arroyo players, who often had difficulty crossing half court before losing possession. Throughout the game, the Dons continually turned over the ball and failed to rebound it. As a result, the Hornets got a lot of wide-open shot attempts, sometimes more than once in the same possession. This allowed them to build a sizable lead before their opponents were able to achieve anything positive.

Despite being up 25-4 at the end of the first quarter, the Hornets did not take their foot off the gas. They started the second quarter with full-court defense and the same offensive success as the opening period. Once they got up 37-9, the Hornets relaxed a bit, backing off full-court pressure for the rest of the game. Still, the Dons failed to make many shots and went into halftime trailing 42-12.

The second half didn’t see any change in momentum as the Hornets kept scoring and the Dons’ deficit was too large to overcome. Although Arroyo’s good moments happened few and far between, junior Miauni Wyatt (#3) led them in scoring with nine points.

Because AHS entered the fourth quarter winning 59-17, the Hornets were able to rest some of their starters and turn to their bench during the last few minutes of the game. Junior Malani Mastora (#3) led the Hornets with 21 points, many of those coming from wide-open three-point attempts. Mastora received help from almost every player on her team. Freshmen Atiana Aumua (#1) and Jennalyn Apodaca (#11) provided additional three-point shooting while seniors Josephine Scott (#40) and Nalize Givens (#50) scored several buckets in the paint area.

Despite the blowout victory, AHS women’s basketball head coach Shawn Hipol addressed the things that his team still has to work on, keeping in mind the fact that they will likely face teams this season who are more athletic than Arroyo and won’t give away as many wide-open shot attempts.

“There is a lot that we can take away,” said Hipol. “We still make unforced turnovers. We still don’t line up in the right spots for certain things so attention to detail in games like that becomes even more critical. It’s not about making shots, but if you are working at getting better, the attention to detail has to be at a higher level.”

The Hornets will likely face tougher competition as they head to Santa Cruz next week to play in the NorCal Invitational. Their first game of the tournament is against Palo Alto High School on Tuesday, Dec 27.

Ben Wiley is an Alameda Sun contributor. To reach him, email editor@alamedasun.com.