Tough test passed by GHS girls

The crowd at Milpitas High was loud.
And with around four minutes to go, the once-large lead held by
the Gilroy girls’ basketball team Friday was down to five.
The crowd at Milpitas High was loud.

And with around four minutes to go, the once-large lead held by the Gilroy girls’ basketball team Friday was down to five.

“It was a great environment,” GHS head coach Kari Williams said. “Their fans were really into it at that point.”

That’s when Mustang point guard Kristen Campos nailed one of her four three-pointers. And that’s when Gilroy started to pull away in its 65-51 victory, outscoring the Trojans 11-2 to end the game.

“It was a great thing to win that kind of game in that setting,” Williams said. “Those are the things this time can do and does do. And that’s what I’m so proud of.”

Campos paced the Mustangs (10-6) with a game-high 20 points, while Katherine Hussey added 16 and Shanté Mancera contributed 12.

Gilroy actually trailed by one at the end of the first quarter, but exploded for 23 points in the second to take a 32-19 halftime lead.

“We really opened it up in the second quarter,” Williams said.

Gilroy was aided by the return of junior Marissa Nowakowski. The speedy guard, in her first action since dislocating her shoulder in a game early last month, immediately helped out with what turned out to be an effective press that forced several Trojan turnovers.

“It was real great for the team to have her back,” Williams said. “She’s quick, and she also allows (guards) Shanté (Mancera) and KC to be quick, because she’s able to relieve them.”

By playing at the two-position, Nowakowski also frees up Hussey to shift to her more-natural spot at small forward. Hussey made eight baskets against Milpitas and poured in 10 points in the second quarter.

“Having four guards instead of three is great,” Williams said. “Plus, when you’re a whole team, everything just feels better.”

Feeling better seemed to be the theme of the night.

“It was a terrific game for us,” the third-year coach added. “It was a team effort. The bench was up … everyone was excited for each other.

“It was a real good feeling tonight. Everyone contributed – all 11 players. That’s what we needed.”

The Mustangs are back in action Tuesday at Alisal, before opening up league play at Hollister Friday night.

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