Women’s basketball wins GSAC title sixth year in a row

Eva Marta, Staff Writer

This past weekend was quite eventful for the Westmont women’s basketball team. On Feb. 19 and 20, the Warriors took on the Vanguard Lions at home in the Murchison Gymnasium. Westmont took the win at Friday’s game, which ended in a score of 60-44, and again on Saturday, with a much closer score of 63-60. It is rare that Westmont plays the same team this many times in one week, and it just so happened that these games would determine the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Western Champion Title. This win for the Warriors not only secures the GSAC title, but also provides an automatic berth into the national championship.

Second-year Sydney Brown scored seven points in Friday’s game and 17 points during Saturday’s. Fourth-year Lauren Tsuneishi had 14 points Friday and six on Saturday. The team had 16 assists and only eight turnovers. Third-year Stefanie Berberabe rightfully secured the GSAC player of the week title for women’s basketball. In the three games this week, she scored at least 20 points in each, raising her season average to 15.3 points per game.

Berberabe stated that she is “feeling really blessed to be honored as player of the week.” She paid tribute to her team, saying she “wouldn’t have gotten recognized for this without their contribution.”

Speaking of the fact that they played the same team three days out of the week, Berberabe said, “Both teams knew each other so well that they took away each other’s strengths and how we scored,” causing adjustments and new techniques. 

Winning the GSAC Championship for the sixth year in a row is a large accomplishment for our Warriors and provides “a lot of momentum going into nationals. I think we can make it all the way to winning a national championship this year,” comments  Berberabe. 

The larger Westmont community is celebrating this accomplishment as well, including President Gayle Beebe himself. President Beebe commented on the significance of this win. He said they have had a “really impressive” season and is “exceedingly  pleased for them,” both in doing really well in games and also staying COVID-19-free. While a live audience is not permitted to attend games, the community is supporting the team from a safe distance. 

The fourth-years on the team, Taylor Rarick and Lauren Tsuneishi, who are playing their last season, were honored with kind words and memories during Saturday’s game. While only in her third-year, Krissy Miyahara will also graduate from Westmont in May, making this her last season as well. The team will undoubtedly continue to give it their all to reach their goal with these teammates. 

The next game is Feb. 26 at 6:00 p.m. in Fullerton, California, where the Warriors will  compete against Hope International, against whom Westmont currently has a winning streak of five. Even though the team clinched GSAC, these games against Hope still matter because they will determine seeding in the national tournament. This will be the team’s last GSAC game before the NAIA Opening Round Tournament on March 12 and 13, which will determine if they make it to the Final Site game. Due to the pandemic and state law, spectators will not be able to attend the game this coming Friday, but we will be cheering our Warriors on from afar!

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