Lady Bruins Vying for Perfect Season
By Robert Haugh
The Santa Clara Lady Bruins’ basketball team’s Cinderella voyage is dribbling closer and closer to an unprecedented undefeated season.
The team improved to 22-0 with a 59-37 win over Milpitas on Feb. 8. Currently, MaxPreps.com has the Bruins the highest-ranked public school in the CCS at No. 4, behind only Mitty, Valley Christian and St. Francis.
“This year’s team is the true definition of team, we have great team defense, we help each other out, have great communication, and they have great team chemistry,” says Head Coach Dee Dee Kiyota. Offensively, she says the team has excellent ball movement, sees the floor well, always hits the open player and “we never quit.”
Kiyota and her assistant coaches, John Smith and Mickie Ferrer instill in the girls, that no matter where they are in the game, to always be working hard and pushing the tempo.
Kiyota credits great leadership, chemistry, family-like camaraderie, having fun – both on and off the court and dedication as primary elements to success of the team.
Veteran leadership come from a trio of seniors – leading scorer Katherine Knowles (10.5 points per game) and twins Taylor and Devyn Snyder, who’ve been playing together for four years, plus strong younger players – sophomore Kayleigh Watanabe – averaging 10.3 points per game create a unique dynamic on the court. Knowles, Watanabe and junior Yvette Delgado are the only three players on the squad averaging over nine points per game – proving how well the unit spreads the ball around.
Defense and perseverance have been paramount components to the remarkable season. They are in the top 5 in the CCS allowing only 709 points. They’ve overcome deficits to win, including a come-from-behind rally where they overcame a 15-point margin to defeat Carlmont 44-40.
The young ladies have channeled wins against several perennial CCS forerunners, including Lincoln (21-6), Cupertino (18-4) twice (home and away), Oceana (18-4), Carlmont (15-7), Leland (13-8) and Milpitas (13-8) twice (home and away).
Only two games remain en route to a perfect regular season – Feb. 15 at Los Altos and Feb. 17 against Monta Vista, both teams the Bruins defeated earlier in the season.
The clock is dribbling closer to midnight – will a Disney-esque horse drawn carriage be awaiting the Lady Bruins in a week? Here’s hoping – Go Bruins!