Girls basketball players and a male coach standing around the bench area with two players seated each with a hand on their backs.

Oilers Girls Varsity Basketball Wins Fifth Straight

Girls basketball players and a male coach standing around the bench area with two players seated each with a hand on their backs.

Story and photos by Joe Porrello

The Oilers girls varsity basketball team earned their fifth consecutive win, taking down Jesse Bethel High 38-30 Tuesday at Richmond High.

With the victory, the Oilers snapped a four-game losing streak to the Jaguars, instead handing Bethel High its first road loss this season.

As both teams effectively applied full-court pressure on defense most of the game, neither side got going on offense or built a sizable lead. 

Having outscored opponents by a combined 219 points and scoring under 40 only once as a team so far this season, the Oilers were in unfamiliar territory. 

“It was kind of a dogfight; we were pretty much scrambling for the ball,” said Richmond High senior guard Sandra Sanchez.


Frequent whistles made it difficult for either team to gain much momentum. They combined to shoot 36 free throws, but Richmond High took twice the attempts Bethel High did. 

The Jaguars managed just nine first-half points, having their score doubled by the Oilers going into the break. 

“A key to victory was really containing and managing the post because they have a really large post presence,” said Richmond High head coach Jeffrey Jaymot.


The third frame was each team’s best on offense as both scored above 10 points for the only quarter of the game.

Richmond High sophomore Melanie Leon paced the Oilers with 11 points, their only player in double figures.

Down by 11 to begin the last quarter, Bethel High made a push and cut the deficit to four but were unable to score again during the closing minutes. 

“We practice gamelike, and that’s what really carries us into these games,” said Sanchez, who was right behind Leon in the scoring column for the Oilers with nine points.


Sanchez sealed the win in the final stanza with a clutch free throw and the game’s only successful three-point attempt. Outside of her, the Oilers scored just a single point in the fourth quarter. 

One of three Richmond High players hurt in the concluding frame, Sanchez got hit in the stomach but returned to the game after an injury timeout. 

The trio of injuries were all to starting fourth-year players for the Oilers, who have six seniors on their roster compared with two for Bethel High. 

The majority of the Jaguars have been with the team for two years or less –- among them, eight sophomores and six freshmen — including their head coach. Raquel Torres is in her first season at the helm as only the second Bethel High team leader in 17 years.

Having their own four-game win streak snapped in their previous game, the Jaguars could not deliver the same outcome to the Oilers. Bethel High now sits at 5-4 overall and in third place of the Tri-County-Stone League standings.


With a more seasoned squad of just four underclasswomen and a ninth-year head coach in Jaymot, Richmond High capitalized on its experience and looks to do so for the rest of the season.

“We came a long way from our sophomore year… our work is paying off,” said Sanchez.

Last season, the Oilers won more games than they lost for the first time in 15 years (17-11), not including the pandemic-shortened season of 2020 in which they went 5-3.

Currently 8-2 overall and undefeated (3-0) in TCS league play, Richmond High is on pace for their best season in over two decades.

“We played a lot in the offseason and it’s a testament to the girls’ work ethic; That’s really why we are where we are right now,” said Jaymot.

In their next game, the Oilers travel to Hercules High on Friday night to take on the Titans, who are in last place of the TCS standings at 0-4. 

Previously losing 30 straight games to the Titans over a 16-year period, Richmond High has now won the last two matchups.

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