The game itself was never in doubt with Santa Clara in cruise control from nearly start to finish, but the Bruins’ 58-26 victory clinched a perfect 24-0 (12-0) league season. Celebrating senior night at their home gym, Bruins Head Coach Deedee Kiyota inserted senior Jazalyn Seguritan into the starting lineup. Seguritan joined her 2017 classmates Devyn Snyder, Taylor Snyder and Katherine Knowles, all four seniors getting the start in the regular season finale.
Friday’s clinching win was an evening filled with tears of joy. Santa Clara honored their four seniors in a pregame ceremony with parents and loved ones at half court. A couple hours later the team celebrated their historic regular season with plenty of hugs and smiles to go around. Don’t be fooled though, this team is nowhere close to satisfied. Their goal now is to win CCS.
“We haven’t ever really put [last season’s CCS loss] behind us,” commented Taylor Snyder after the game. “We kind of keep it in the back of our minds the whole time and just feed off of that. We don’t want that to happen again so we push ourselves to the end of every game.”
Last season the Bruins saw their season end in a flash as a buzzer-beating shot knocked them out of the playoffs in the second round of CCS. They have played 24 games since and have won every single one of them.
Fittingly enough on senior night, it was Knowles who shined brightest for the Bruins. Knowles plays a power forward/center type position for Santa Clara and she chipped in seven of her team’s first 11 points in her customary spot in the paint. She brought the house down though when she made a rare three-point shot that she banked in off the glass with only a second remaining in the first half. As impressive as her three pointer was, it’s Knowles’ ability to get mid range buckets off the glass that stands out on a much more regular basis.
“The way that Katie works, she’s a very cerebral player,” noted Taylor Snyder. “She figures out what works for her, she’s not exactly like a six-foot big, so she found a way to make shots that big girls make with their back to the basket.”
Aside from her near buzzer-beating three pointer, Knowles’ other impressive basket came as she was fouled, but got the layup to fall for an and-one opportunity. On the play it looked as if Taylor Snyder might have had the easier shot, but she passed it to Knowles instead.
“I just love passing,” confirmed Taylor Snyder about the and-one sequence with Knowles. “Sometimes my coach gets mad at me for passing instead of going up for the layup.”
Not surprisingly Taylor Snyder leads the team in assists with an average of 2.8 per game, a full assist higher than second-leading assist gal Kayleigh Watanabe at 1.8.
Perhaps lost in all the hoopla of the Bruins finishing undefeated is winning the league title. It’s Santa Clara’s first league championship since 2004. Only two other previous league championships came in 1997 and 1983. Teams like this don’t come around Santa Clara High all too often. It has certainly been a special season for the Bruins.