Menlo News February 25, 2023

Girls’ basketball back-to-back CCS champions!

Menlo defeats Half Moon Bay 49-34

Girls' basketball defeats Half Moon Bay 49-34 to win back-to-back CCS titles.

2.25.2023 – Back in the section title game, the Menlo girls’ basketball team got to work early, and never looked back in a 49-34 win over Half Moon Bay to defend its CCS Div. IV Championship on Saturday.
The top-seeded Knights (15-10) won their ninth section title in program history, and now await their seeding and division for the CIF Northern California Championships, which begin Tuesday night.
Menlo was unstoppable in the first quarter with the sophomore duo of Karen Xin and Ruiqi Liu combining for 14 points while dominating the rebounds and holding the Cougars to seven points. 
“We went in there thinking we needed every loose ball, to win the 50-50 and our whole season, we just thought our defense will win us the championship, and will win us the game,” senior Riley Jensen said. “We went in thinking defense is going to bring us offense, and that happened in the game. We hit some clutch shots, but I think our defense definitely helped us.”
Liu finished with a game-high 18 points.and four rebounds. Xin had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds. Knights junior Summer Young posted nine rebounds. Seniors Riley Jensen tallied 11 points and Jordan Brooks added five rebounds.
“Let’s go in strong,” Liu said. “We figured if we were (physical) and made an impression early, it will be easier from then on,” Liu said.
Half Moon Bay drew to within 10 in the third quarter, but Menlo widened the gap again in the fourth. The Knights held Half Moon Bay to 10 points below their average. Alli Dioli and Payton Holm had seven points each for the Cougars
Jensen, who missed her junior season to injury thought she might miss these playoffs after a different injury appreciated the repeat championships.
“Just playing is so much fun,” she said, “And winning back-to-back is crazy.
“Our chemistry is really peaking the most right now,” Jensen said. “Karen and Ruiqi are obviously really great players and we have some sophomores and juniors and freshmen really help us push the team forward, and we seniors are just trying to further the culture.”