A Battle in Basketball


Written By: Delaney Knipp

At Newport Harbor High School, a Battle of The Bay is more than just a game, it’s a chance to represent our school and show our Sailor Pride. At this year’s girls basketball BotB game against our historic rivals, it was no different. Both Sailor and Sea King fans began packing into the gym shortly before six o’clock, and as the line-up was announced, a feeling of excitement spread through the room.

When the first whistle blew, the sophomore Ashleigh McPhie won possession of the jump ball and began making her way down the court. After a few passes between the players around the key, the ball was passed to freshman Willa Rath, who shot from the outside and scored the first basket of the game. Rath, the youngest on the team says, “[being the youngest] was a little scary at first but then I got to know everyone and now I don’t even really notice how much younger I am.” The possession of the ball was traded between teams throughout the first half, and each team had an adequate number of baskets made. The Sailors were leading in the first quarter with a score of 16-13, but the Sea Kings had taken advantage of a few missed shots in the second quarter by the home team and the Sailors trailed 18-28 at the half.

The Sailors came into the second half determined to clutch a second-half victory. Unfortunately, the third quarter yielded few results for the hard-working players. The Sea Kings maintained their lead throughout the quarter and continued to increase the difference between the scores. But with six minutes left in the game, junior Alexia Alvarez scored on a three-point shot that excited the crowd and brought the game within ten points. Although the Sailor girls fought until the final buzzer blew, the score was 39-53 at the end of the game, resulting in a win for the Sea Kings. “I think we did the best we could,” Rath said after the game, “I was really disappointed at first but we played well until the end.” Great work girls basketball and you’ll get ‘em next year!