The Lady Cavaliers Return from Winter Break

Basketball player Taylor Ravello competed in the girls varsity basketball match against the Coral Reef Cudas.


Basketball player Taylor Ravello competed in the girls varsity basketball match against the Coral Reef Cudas.

With the girls basketball team’s first game of the year rapidly approaching, the Lady Cavaliers have been practicing non-stop. Arriving a few hours before their game on Tuesday, Jan. 10, the athletes departed from the bus and entered Coral Reef High School’s vast gym awaiting a challenge.

Taking advantage of the time, they got dressed in their uniforms and began to prepare for the game. At 3 p.m., Coral Reef’s team arrived and followed suit, shooting similar warm-up drills for the junior varsity game that would begin at 3:30 p.m. As the time for the first game approached, the bleachers quickly filled up with excited fans.

The ten girls, five from each team, were ready and in position as the referee threw the ball in the air for the tip-off. Reef intercepted the ball, and after some back and forth, the first point was scored by the opposing team. Throughout the first quarter, Reef scored a few more points. However, Coral Gables Senior High fought hard to win those points back. 

After scoring their first point, the support from the bleachers was heard from across the gym. Between fouls, missed shots and free throws, both teams found it difficult to score. In the first few minutes of the second quarter, three shots were made in a row by the Cavaliers. After an intense battle between the two teams, the first half ended with a score of 7-28, with the Cudas taking the lead. 

At half time, the Gables team gathered outside the gym with Coach Cruzata, quickly going over plays and pointing out small improvements for each of the players. The 10 minutes of reviewing were beneficial as the improvements were made and the team began to catch up. 

Once the game resumed, the audience only grew louder with their cheers, and the varsity players encouraged the JV team to stay strong. However, time was running out and the other team continued to make their own shots as well. The final score for the JV game resulted in a loss of 17-53.

“We have had significant growth as a team throughout the season and we have learned to work together. We won’t let our losses or our mistakes define us. We are going to work even harder and learn from our past mistakes,” freshman Leandra Ayala said. 

The minute JV stepped off, the varsity players immediately took the court and began to do their warm-up drills for the 5 p.m. game. This was their last game to help prepare them for the Senior Night game that will take place on Thursday, Jan. 12. 

Fifteen minutes prior to the game, the varsity players quelled their nerves while getting in last-minute practice shots. The clock for the first quarter started ticking down, and the ball was in the air favoring the Cavaliers. With the perseverance of the team, Gables took the opportunity to make a basket, scoring the first point of the game. In terms of skills, both teams were equally matched, creating a highly competitive matchup on the court that did not diminish the determination of the Lady Cavs. After the first half, the game was tied, 7-7. 

At the 10-minute halftime, Gables’ Coach Nanninga and her team gathered outside to discuss the plays and improvements for the second half of the game, such as calling out for screens and looking to the post for an open pass. Going back out onto the court, there was a lot of back and forth between the two teams. The ball was stolen during crossovers and the defense kept blocking the offensive team’s plays. For a while, the teams moved the ball up and down the court without scoring a single point. After lots of suspense, the game ended with a final score of 16-24, the Cavaliers losing by 8 points. 

“The game wasn’t everything that we hoped it would be and we weren’t playing as well as we should have been. For the future, [both JV and Varsity] just have to keep working together as a team and continue to bond and flow more smoothly to prepare for our next big games coming up soon,” sophomore Nathalie Schwart said.

Both the JV and varsity teams huddled up to discuss important details about the game afterward, always asking how they can improve for their next game. Despite the loss, the team ended the huddle with a strong “Lady on 3, Cavs on 6, 1-2-3 Lady, 4-5-6 Cavs.” 

“Against Coral Reef, I think it was obvious that our team was lacking some rhythm. We came short of the win, but we’re looking to bounce back during senior night,” senior Isabella Morales said.

If you are interested in showing your support for the Lady Cavs, their last home game will take place on Thursday, Jan. 12, where the team will celebrate their Senior Night.