De Anza’s “Fab Five” puts losing streak to an end against Feather River3 min read

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Mathew Bejarano

Maryam Sallam (50) shoots a free throw in the first quarter.

Mathew Bejarano, News and Sports Editor

The De Anza College Mountain Lions won big against the Feather River Golden Eagles, snapping their three game losing streak winning 82-69 and improving to 4-5 on the season.

Feather River came into the game winning their last three out of four games, also arriving with an active roster of 16 players.

De Anza only had five players due to injuries as well as eligibility. Tianna Ngo, Annie Do, Ashley Sipanya, Danielle Gezzi and Maryam Sallam all played the entire 40 minute game. 

The two highest scorers, Tianna Ngo (3) and Danielle Gezzi (22) chat during a Feather River free throw. (Mathew Bejarano)

Sallam, forward, who leads the team in rebounds this season, had 19 rebounds last night. Sallam said she didn’t feel any pressure regarding the sizes of both teams.

“Once the game started, I didn’t really think much about their size or their quantity. I just did my thing.” Sallam said.

Feather River’s initial strategy was to play back court defense during the beginning of both halves, but ultimately shied away from it.

De Anza led most of the game but there were moments where Feather River slowly began to come back, including an 8-3 run to start the third quarter, cutting the lead to six points. It wouldn’t take long for the Mountain Lions to respond as Ngo would hit a three pointer, putting them back up by 9 points.

Ngo, guard, is currently averaging the second highest three point percentage on the team, but initially struggled behind the arc in the first half initially going 0/5. Ngo would come out strong in the second half hitting 5 of her first seven three pointer attempts.

“During halftime is when I gather myself and I take my shots,” Ngo said. “I just try to get a rhythm going and my coaches in the stands kind of help me if I need to bring it up more and if I need more arc as I try to adjust to that.”

Do, guard, would follow up with another big three in the third quarter, extending their lead to 49-38

Sipanya, guard, would go on to put the nail in the coffin as she would hit a three pointer to put the Mountain Lions up by 13 with 24 seconds left in the game.

Danielle Gezzi (22) faces off against Feather River’s Lauryn Dressler (20) in the fourth quarter. (Mathew Bejarano)

After the win, head coach Aniya Baker said she tells her players to always give it their maximum effort on the court despite the difference in team stature.

“The message for the team was to go out and fight,” Baker said. “We knew that we were a little bit short in number. We wanted to make sure that we went and we executed and played for each other.”

Gezzi, guard, who led the Mountain Lions in scoring with 27 points, said that the win to break the current losing streak was much needed for the team.

“It was amazing, especially since we had a lot of players out,” Gezzi said. “We only have five players on the floor today, so we were playing extremely hard, fighting as much as we could and came with the dub.”

The Mountain Lions will travel to San Bruno to play Skyline College Friday, Dec. 3, in hopes of winning their second game in a row.