Lady Barons basketball display Mamba Mentality in decisive win over rival Mater Dei


Angelina Ruckman

Junior shooting guard Julia Cosalan goes to attack the basket during pre-game warm ups. The whole team wore purple shirts with different writing they made themselves in honor of Kobe and Gianna Bryants passing.

Mathias Medel and Abraham Zepeda

Waves of purple and gold filled the stands as the Bonita Vista High (BVH) girls varsity basketball team took the court to play against the Mater Dei Catholic High (MDCHS) Crusaders. After four quarters of basketball, the Barons emerged victorious with a score of 79-58. 

With both teams undefeated in the Metro Girls Basketball League, the game brought many spectators, with many wearing purple and gold in homage to former Los Angeles Lakers guard and basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, who suffered a helicopter crash on the morning of Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California, along with his 13 year old daughter Gianna, and seven others (Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan). All nine victims were later pronounced dead by local law enforcement. 

Prior to tip-off and following the national anthem, the scoreboard clock displayed the time 8:24 – both of the numbers worn by Bryant in his 20-year career in the NBA. Captain, forward and junior Isabel Rector (5) led a 24 second moment of silence in honor of former Los Angeles Lakers player K. Bryant. 

“[K. Bryant] is important to the game of basketball in general,” head varsity girls basketball coach Tristan Lamb said as he sported a K. Bryant jersey over a purple dress shirt and gold tie. “He inspired a lot of people [and] me as both a player and as a coach, so we just had to do something to honor him.” 

The game not only was honoring K. Bryant, but also happened to be against MDCHS, the biggest rival to the Lady Barons for a number of years, mainly due to their similar league records in the past few seasons. Last year, MDCHS and BVH held the same record (9-1), but the Crusaders edged the Barons for first place in the league as a result of point difference. Tonight was their first game against them this season.

“[This game] means a lot to us. They’re probably our only competition for league and [the rivalry] has been going on since my freshman year since that [Division One] CIF Championship. It has been going on for a long time and the competition is great,” girls varsity basketball captain, guard and junior Julia Cosalan (1) said. 

Averaging a team high 14.4 points per game this season Cosalan (1) led the night’s win with 21 points, earning her the player of the game award. She has been on the varsity team since her freshman year and was given a captain’s role this season. In light of Bryant’s death, she dedicated the game to him. 

“Kobe has been a big icon for me growing up. I watched him when I was really little so I took it really personal when he died,” Cosalan said. “I just wanted to play this game for him.”

Now with half of the Mesa League games completed and a four-game win streak under their belt, players like Cosalan see the win as a representation of what the team has to offer.

“[Tonight’s win] showed that we’re a better team and when we play together we can accomplish a lot,” Cosalan said. “I feel like my team did really good together and if we keep going, I know that we can go on to win a championship,” Cosalan said.

With tonight’s victory, the Barons surpassed first place MDCHS in the Metro Girls Basketball League standings, maintaining their perfect league season at five wins, and zero losses. Looking to capture a win on the road against La Jolla Country Day High, currently ranked first in the nation by MaxPreps High School Sports, Monday, Feb.3.

“We got to keep moving. We have a game we have to win. We play against the number one team in a country, and we [have] to come in on a high note and really compete against them,” Lamb said.