Hoop dreams become reality for Crusader girls basketball players


Lance yearbook

Mia Vaihola ’23 goes for a jump shot against Half Moon Bay.

For more than 70 years, Archbishop Riordan High School’s victory bell was only rung for wins by male sports teams—until May 24, when the bell sound pealed out to celebrate the girls Varsity basketball team’s win over Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory on May 21.

Not only was this the first win of the season, it signified the first girls team at Riordan to earn a win in their WCAL season. Due to lesser COVID restrictions, the games were allowed to be played inside and hosted limited family spectators, while livestreaming to those at home.

Dean of Student Affairs Brian Kelly said, “It’s nice to remember the first time events like this happen because we plan on making this a habit, not just a one time thing here and there.”

He added, “It’s also a tangible success we can celebrate and it’s been hard, with the circumstances we’re in, to express just how much of a gift co-education has been to our community.”

The team is made up of 11 athletes in total, headed by Head Coach Will Watkins.

Even with preseason and non- league game practice, the team had struggled in the beginning of the season with a streak of 0-5, while competing against Saint Ignatius, Half Moon Bay and University High School as well.

The WCAL started quarterfinals on May 24, with Riordan competing against Saint Francis, while still continuing non-league games against Terra Linda until May 27.

These ceiling breaking women continue to make Riordan’s co- ed transitional year even more remarkable, adding on to Riordan’s well-known male basketball program. The school community is excited to see what future seasons for this young team will look like.

Kelly said, “We aren’t graduating anyone this year, so the student athletes you see today will have the opportunity be back on the court next year. . .We are definitely going to see a lot of good things in years to come.”