Girl’s Basketball Team Wins Conference for the First Time Since 2010
By Sasha Aristizabal
On Jan. 15, NCP Women's basketball team faced its final conference opponent, Michelle Clark High School. The game was supposed to start at five in the afternoon but it was quickly evident that would not happen. Time went by and the audience wondered if the game would even happen or if it would have to be forfeited. Although the Mustangs were already warmed up for the game, the team continued drills for the next 30 minutes. At 5:25, Clark showed up and began to get ready. However, the opposing team took its time, stalling the beginning of the game until 5:40. At that point, everyone in the audience was ready for the game to begin and to see the Mustangs take first place.
The game started out with Alina Yamin, Adv. 902, Audrey McManus, Adv.900, Caroline Merck, Adv. 901, Rachel Vu, Adv. 010, and Samantha Farmer, Adv.004. Northside comes out strong in the first quarter showing strength against Clark. They maintained a strong lead throughout the quarter and the starters worked together to rack up a 14-point lead. Substitutions from Destiny Lara, Adv. 004, and Maddie Yu, Adv. 000, helped tremendously as well. The team finished the first quarter 21-7 displaying dominance over Clark; it looked like an easy victory for Northside.
The second half featured Yamin, Vu, Klaudia Jablosnka, Adv. 901, Lara, McManus, and Farmer. Although warmed-up from the first quarter, many of Northside’s shot were not sticking, and the quarter seemed to be relatively slow. Time and time again, the Mustrangs would have the ball but the team could not execute. Northside finished the first half 26-15, scoring only 5 points during the second quarter and allowing Clark to catch up.
As the third quarter began, Northside’s attitude changed as the team members began to play harder to maintain their strong lead. They started out with Yamin, Merck, Vu, McManus, and Farmer and the team begin to do a lot better than before. McManus shot a smooth three, riling up the crowd and proving that Northside was not stuck. After Clark missed a shot, a far pass was thrown to Merck and with no defenders in sight, she easily made the shot. Northside did a great job of keeping up its lead but Clark also did a good job of keeping up. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 36-31 making it either team’s game.
The fourth quarter began with Yamin, Farmer, Yu, Lily Root, Adv. 002 and Erin Goldman, Adv. 911. Both teams were noticeably tired but Northside pushed harder than ever to win. During this quarter, Northside’s communication outshone its competitors. As Northside kept pulling through, Clark was ultimately too tired and noticeably began to give up. The Mustangs took advantage of this opportunity to increase their lead and dominate the game. Northside ended up winning 60-37, changing its five-point lead into a 23-point lead, winning the conference. When asked about the team's performance and winning conference, Vu said, “going into it [the basketball game] we didn’t know what to expect but we knew it was for conference so we had to play our hardest no matter what and even when we had the lead we had to keep up the energy because you never know what can happen. I'm proud that we pulled through and ended up winning conference.”
The Mustangs finished the conference games with an 8-1 record. Northside has gone 16-2 in its two seasons in the CPS White North/West Conference. The last time the Northside girl's team won their conference was in 2010 when they won the White North with an undefeated record.