By Jeremy Balan
For Bay head girls basketball coach Larry Minnich, Thursday afternoon presented a reunion of sorts.
Minnich and the Breakers took on Convent — a team he led to a Division V state championship in 2003 — in the first round of the Urban Holiday Shootout at Kezar Pavilion.
Now a player from that team, Jennifer Hum-Traverso, is coaching Convent and the first-year head coach made the reunion an unpleasant one for Minnich with a 66-43 victory over the Breakers.
“I have a lot of former players that are coaches now, so I’m used to that,” Minnich said. “It’s a lot of fun and I’d like to see them do well. I just wish they didn’t pick on me so much.”
All five Convent starters scored in double figures, led by junior guard Jamie Hum-Nishikado and senior guard Bianka Quintanilla-Whye, who finished with a game-high 15 points apiece, but the Cubs’ start was far from ideal.
Bay (2-4) jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but the Cubs immediately responded with a 9-0 run to take the lead back. The teams exchanged the lead once more in the first quarter, but after the Cubs (6-1) took a 15-12 lead into the second frame, they pulled away steadily.
The difference was the Cubs’ defense, which forced 27 Bay turnovers, including 12 on Convent steals. Hum-Nishikado and Quintanilla-Whye had five and four steals, respectively, allowing the Cubs to run the floor in transition and make easy baskets. Quintanilla-Whye also had a team-high eight rebounds.
“A lot of our momentum and intensity starts on defense,” Hum-Traverso said. “To have a slow start like that meant we weren’t playing good defense.”
The Breakers actually had some success scoring in the paint and on drives through the Convent defense, but could not overcome the constant turnovers and shot just 2-of-16 from three-point range.
As the turnovers mounted, Convent extended its lead to 37-25 at the half and 53-34 after the third quarter. Sophomore guard Michelle Chui was the Breakers’ most consistent offensive threat and scored a team-high 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. Chui also had a game-high 10 rebounds to complete her double-double.
“That’s the personality of the team right now. They don’t realize what they’re capable of,” Minnich said. “When they ran the offense right and played tough defense, they were successful. When they act like they don’t want the ball and play soft, you see what happens.”
The Cubs also got solid contributions from Isabella Borges, Gina Domergue and Lizzie Whittles, who all scored 10 points apiece.
Jamie Hum-Nishikado – 15
Bianka Quintanilla-Whye – 15
Isabella Borges – 10
Gina Domergue – 10
Lizzie Whittles – 10
Michelle Chui – 13
Summer Johnson – 12
Megan Lui – 8
Kayley You Mak – 5
Kendal You Mak – 3