By Tommy Fellner
The Acalanes Women’s Basketball team, the 3 seed in the NCS playoffs, lost to Bishop O’Dowd, the 2 seed by a score of 70-39 at Laney College in Oakland this wednesday night.
Both teams came out fired up and intense in the semifinal matchup, but it was the Dragons that employed their superior physical talent and athleticism that outmatched the Lady Dons’ fundamentals. Early on, O’Dowd overran the Lady Dons and dominated them on the glass, normally something Acalanes does unto other teams.
The Dragons also were a force on defense and got the Lady Dons to settle for tough shots and then keep them from getting the rebound and eliminating the opportunity for any second chance points. The Lady Dons still managed to scrape together a few buckets, but they were clearly at a disadvantage. By the end of the first quarter, Acalanes found themselves in a 23-10 hole.
In the second, O’Dowd put the pedal to the metal and rammed the Lady Dons into the ground. Acalanes was struggling to keep up in the first and the Dragons continued to push the ball up the court and wear out the Lady Dons.
This strategy was very successful and a strung out Acalanes squad put up even fewer points than they had scored in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Dragons began to catch fire on offense and were drilling shots from seemingly anywhere on the court. Heading into halftime, the Lady Dons were down by 25, with the score reading Bishop O’Dowd 43 Acalanes 18.
In the second half, the Dragons maintained their lead and Acalanes failed to put up a run to tighten the gap between the two teams. Towards the end however, Acalanes begun to finally break down the strong Dragon defense and put up 21 points in the second half while holding the Dragons to 36 points, a 10 point difference from the first half. Brooke Panfili led the scoring column for the Lady Dons with 13 points. Junior Julia Lyons added nine points, two assists and two steals for the Lady Dons.
Although this loss ends Acalanes’ NCS run, the women’s team still has much to look forward to with the state playoffs looming right around the corner. The Lady Dons have their expectations set high and have a very good chance at making a deep run in the state playoffs.