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GIRLS BASKETBALL – Whitney ends roller coaster week with an unexpected easy win over Bishop Amat

January 10, 2024

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on X

The Whitney High girls basketball team began the first week of January with a solid 58-45 win at Pioneer High to open 605 League play. It was just the third win over the Titans in 10 league contests and the first on Pioneer’s court as a member of the league.

Two days later the Wildcats blasted John Glenn High by 56 points for their seventh straight win over the Eagles. Whitney was then hoping to get a better game out of visiting Bishop Amat High last Saturday, but instead, had another relatively easy victory. The ‘Cats built a 22-7 first quarter lead over the Lancers and cruised to a 68-31 win in a matinee affair. 

“It’s actually been a good week,” said Whitney head coach Myron Jacobs. “Again, me as a coach, I don’t like playing the John Glenn’s. I respect the program, but they’re just not there, talent-wise. But the Pioneer game…I said last year I would like to open my season against those harder teams to get them out of the way. Today, we played Bishop Amat and we thought they were going to be solid. They were solid last year, but unfortunately, they were missing their big who was on the bench with a torn ACL.”

Bishop Amat had a brief 3-2 lead within the first minute before sophomore Mady Macaraeg scored consecutive baskets and Whitney wouldn’t trail again. A basket from Asia Bailey made it 8-5 with 5:30 left in the opening quarter before the hosts went on a 10-0 lead. Senior Kylie Wang was off and running to what would be another stellar game in her great high school career, scoring 10 points, grabbing five rebounds, blocking one shot and collecting a teal just in the first quarter alone. Her sister, junior Haylie Wang, scored half a dozen points and had three boards in the second quarter with an assist while freshman Alyssa So had a two-pointer and a three-pointer as Whitney built its lead to 35-15 by halftime.

“I think the first quarter was just let’s run them,” said Jacobs. “We felt like we were in better shape; no point in running the offense. People have been scouting us the last three days, and today we really didn’t run our offense.”

Any chance the Lancers had to creep back into the contest were dashed away in the third quarter when Whitney’s defense continued to apply more pressure. So scored off a steal to begin the second half as part of a 15-0 run. Bishop Amat didn’t score until there were 15 seconds left in the stanza. That was the beginning of an 8-0 run that was followed by 12 straight points by the Wildcats, including three-pointers from Haylie Wang and senior Alyssa Troung.

Haylie Wang led everyone with 19 points with eight rebounds, six assists and two steals while Kylie Wang had 18 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and three steals. So provided 14 more points and through the first 18 games, has scored at least 10 points in a dozen games. finally, having one of her better games of the season was Macaraeg, who chipped in with 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals. 

“I think this was Mady’s second best game,” said Jacobs. “She had a double-double against Pioneer. I think Mady is going to unlock her full potential when Kylie leaves. I think that’s when you’re going to see more of the Mady and Haylie show. But she still does her part and is an elite player that’s growing every year and every game. She’s understanding that the role gets bigger as she goes and grows in high school.”

This past Tuesday, the Wildcats crushed Artesia High 87-21 with Macaraeg leading the way with 18 points, six rebounds and three steals, followed by Kylie Wang’s 16 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, four steals and three assists. So and Haylie Wang each scored 15 points and junior Rachel Moyher came off the bench to add a season-high nine points.

Whitney improved to 14-5 overall and 3-0 in the league as it is beginning to get its groove back after going 1-3 in the NIKE Tournament of Champions from Dec. 18-21. That was part of a 3-5 stretch for the ‘Cats after beginning the season with seven straight wins.

“I think that prepared us because of the height,” said Jacobs of the tournament. “We don’t have the biggest team, so Arizona prepared us because it humbled us. I said we were on vacation, and we weren’t playing. [It brought us back to] reality here and understanding that we have business that we have to take care of.”

Whitney will visit Oxford Academy on Friday, face Sonora High on Saturday in the Matson Classic at Orange Lutheran High then go to Cerritos High on Wednesday in a battle for first place to conclude the first round of league play.