MHS Girls Basketball Clinches Historical League Finish

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Malibu High School girls varsity basketball senior players after their victory over Grace Brethren, pictured from left: Gianna Chaisson, Nina Hungerland, Kendall Jordan, Sara Joshi, Alana Baer, Ana Cervantes, Becky Boerum and Molly Armitage.

The Malibu High School varsity girls basketball team finished the regular season with a bittersweet 59-8 victory over Grace Brethren. During the Thursday, Feb. 11 match, the Sharks claimed their highest league finish in history and honored eight graduating seniors.  

Junior Sophie Beauvoir led the Sharks, scoring 12 points and posting seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Senior Gianna Chaisson and freshman Amelia Goudzwaard also contributed 10 points each, helping the team to an unprecedented second place Frontier League finish.

“It was one of those games where everyone just played well,” Coach Andy Meyer said. “I got to put some of the subs in who usually don’t play, and they played a decent amount of time. The seniors played a lot. It was a nice night overall and everyone contributed.

The Sharks victory was preceded by a ceremony honoring graduating seniors Sara Joshi, Ari Ross, Alana Baer, Ana Cervantes, Nara Pena, Nina Hungerland, Chaisson and Kendall Jordan. They were presented with flowers, and each senior read a speech about one of their classmates, highlighting memories from their years on the team together. 

“We’ve gotten very close and gone through a lot,” Baer said. “It was very special to have the seniors read speeches about other seniors.”

Chaisson recalled the Catalina tournament, beating rival Carpinteria earlier this year and smashing cupcakes in Meyer’s face as some of her favorite memories from her four years as a Shark. 

“[Over the years] I’ve been setting up to see senior night happen,” she added. “It was really fun —  not just the game, but [the ceremony] before it, too.”

Both Chaisson and Baer noted that they have witnessed growth both on and off the court in their class over the past four. 

“Freshman year, we only won one game. This year, we got second in league and last year, we got third in league,” Baer said. “I’ve learned a lot from my team.”

Meyers added that the girls’ ability to keep their focus in busy situations was a major contributor to the team’s historical league finish. 

“It’s a long season with practice every day and getting home late,” Meyer said. “Since January, we’ve had two to three games per week, and that’s a lot of time. The girls were able to keep their focus the entire year.”

“We were definitely the underdogs freshman year,” Baer added, “Just having four years with most of the same girls has made us grow together, and we’ve been growing since freshman year.”

The Sharks will play an away game against Viewpoint on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. for the first round of CIF playoffs.

“The girls have only won one playoff game, so I would like to see us get a win,” Meyer said.

Chaisson said that film analysis has been emphasized more heavily in the practices leading up to CIF.

“We watch games back and take the time to prepare going over them in practice,” she added. “It helps you see what you’ve been doing and what you can work on.”

As they enter their final games, Chaisson and Baer both agree that the basketball team has provided them with valuable high school memories.

“The team is a core part of my friend group,” Baer said. “Basketball has been a great part of my high school experience.”