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Berkeley girls sprint past Hornets

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Thursday February 15, 2001

Two weeks ago, Berkeley girls’ basketball head coach Gene Nakamura pointed to Tuesday’s game against Alameda as a possible roadblock to an undefeated ACCAL season for his Lady Yellowjackets. He didn’t need to worry. 

The Lady ’Jackets took advantage of Alameda’s up-tempo offense, setting a season high for points with their 105-57 win. It was the first time Berkeley broke triple digits on the scoreboard this season. The closest they had come was their first meeting with the Lady Hornets, a 98-40 victory. 

Senior forward Robin Roberson led the ’Jackets with 27 points, one of four Berkeley players to break double digits. Roberson was on fire, making an assortment of layups and jumperson her way to shooting 13-of-16 from the floor.  

“Robin can fill the basket in so many different ways,” Nakamura said. “She was really going to the ball well tonight, and she posted up well too.” 

Teammate Angelita Hutton shook off a cold first half (3-of-12 shooting) to score 15 points, and center Sabrina Keys pitched in 10 points and eight boards. 

The surprise of the night was forward Kalyca Seabrook, who scored 12 points, her season high. The junior missed just one shot while pulling down five rebounds. 

“We weren’t really expecting to win the game, because Berkeley’s just a machine,” Alameda head coach Brad Thomas said. “But we shouldn’t give up 105 points to anyone.” 

Alameda’s only answer to the Berkeley fireworks was point guard Lucia Galindo, who scored 20 points despite fouling out of the game with three minutes left. The speedy sophomore, who didn’t play in the first meeting, penetrated at will against the Berkeley defense, getting several easy layups and drawing 10 fouls in the game. 

“(Galindo) did a good job, but we really weren’t D-ing her up consistently,” Nakamura said. 

The Hornets were looking to run right from the start, and the Berkeley players were more than willing to play an up-tempo game. After turnovers on their first three possessions, the ’Jackets quickly took control of the game. Roberson and point guard Danielle Milburn hit back-to-back three-pointers to put them up 8-5, and they never looked back. Roberson scored 11 points in the opening quarter, then made four more buckets in the first four minutes of the second period to give her team a 40-22 lead. Nakamura sat his starters for long stretches of the second quarter, but the ’Jackets still managed to climb to a 51-26 halftime lead. 

“They shouldn’t have tried to run on us, that’s just playing our kind of game,” Nakamura said. “If they want to run, we’ll run with them.” 

Hutton got going early in the second half, turning two steals into breakaway layups. When Galindo picked up her fourth foul on a Seabrook jumper late in the third quarter, she headed to the bench for a long stretch, taking the Alameda offense with her. But the ’Jackets had just 71 points going into the fourth quarter, and it seemed unlikely they would break 100 points. 

Galindo returned and hit two layups to pull her team within 40 points, but fouled out soon after. Berkeley freshman Joy White got hot late in the quarter, scoring nine points in less than four minutes, and forward Rebekah Payne made a layup with less than a minute left, making the score 100-57 and setting off a celebration by the Berkeley bench and fans. Forward Natasha Bailey hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to set the final score. 

“We played our normal offense, and we didn’t press in the second half,” Nakamura said. “It’s not like we were trying to run up the score.” 

“We’re not big enough, so we have to play run-and-gun,” Thomas said. “It was our bad defense more than how we played on offense.”