Lady Bruins Continue Cinderella Season
By Robert Haugh
Though Pomp and Circumstance wasn’t blasting in the gym and there was no sight of “Macho Man” Randy Savage delivering a flying elbow off the top rope, the Lady Bruins were focused on the task at hand.
Queen’s We are the Champions wasn’t reverberating through the gym either.
Rather, the team-centric Lady Bruins were simply focused on playing basketball and winning the game at-hand.
With the clock dribbling closer to midnight, the Cinderella season continued for the Santa Clara High School Bruins girls basketball team as they handily defeated Monta Vista 58-26 on Feb. 17, giving them a perfect 24-0 mark on the regular season.
“We never expected to go undefeated and we tried not to ever focus on that. To actually get to the 24-0 mark was truly remarkable for these girls because they have worked so hard these past few months. It was definitely a talking point when people came up to us,” said Head Coach Dee-Dee Kiyota.
As the No. 5 seed in CCS Division II, they host the Branham Bruins (15-10) on Thursday, Feb. 23 (tonight) at 7 p.m. at Santa Clara High School.
Their perfect season didn’t garner them one of the top four seeds, nor did it capture much spotlight. If they prevail over Branham, they’ll play one of the top-four seeds on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Aragon High: Presentation (12-12), Gunn (14-11), Mountain View (14-9) or Westmont (16-8).
“We have no expectations for CCS, league was our big goal. We are going to view CCS like any other game,” said Kiyota. “For the seniors, they are all bright young minds who we wish the very best to and we will truly miss them. They have left an unforgettable legacy behind,” added Kiyota in regarding securing the undefeated season on senior night.
“We had a tremendous season and we would like to thank everyone who came out to support us. And to our returners, we can’t wait to start moving forward and focus on the future,” added Kiyota.
The team has played with no superstars or egos, truly playing as one unit. We recapped their Cinderella season two weeks ago.
Kiyota and her assistant coaches, John Smith and Mickie Ferrer should be proud of their work. Kiyota attributes great leadership, chemistry, a family-like camaraderie, having fun, perseverance, dedication and hard work as keys to the remarkable season.
Playing for pride, with a chip on their shoulder, the Lady Bruins are an under-the-radar underdog. They don’t have any big-time stars boasting huge numbers. They spread the ball around very well and play intelligently.
Though they may not have the wacky, waving inflatable, arm-flailing tube men, the Lady Bruins are the Bayley of the CCS playoffs. They might be that Cinderella team that connects that flying elbow off the top rope to claim the championship belt, errrrrr CCS championship.