GHS BASKETBALL: Both boys and girls teams defeat Alisal to open league play

Go mustangs!

GILROY – The hometown fans of Gilroy High were treated to a
doubleheader Wednesday night as both the boys and girls squads took
on Tri County Athletic League opponent Alisal inside Bob Hagen
Gymnasium.
GILROY – The hometown fans of Gilroy High were treated to a doubleheader Wednesday night as both the boys and girls took on Tri County Athletic League opponent Alisal inside Bob Hagen Gymnasium.

Girls basketball

Paced by junior Chelsea Hill’s double-double, the Gilroy High girls varsity basketball team blew past Alisal 63-27 in the Tri Country Athletic League opener for both squads Wednesday night in Gilroy.

Hill was good on her first four shots of the game, finishing 8-of-15 for 16 points and she corralled 10 rebounds.

The Lady Mustangs (9-4, 1-0) held a distinct size advantage over the smaller Lady Trojans (5-8, 0-1) resulting in numerous second-chance possessions. Senior Laura Steele dominated under the glass, securing 13 rebounds in the contest.

“We realized that our inside game was going to be key for us winning the game,” Hill said.

Senior Lindsey Foster scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Mustangs built on an already insurmountable 21-point cushion heading into the final period.

“We just took advantage of the mismatch inside,” said Foster, who also had seven rebounds and three assists. “We capitalized on their turnovers.”

GHS jumped out to a quick 14-3 lead by the end of the first quarter, establishing a presence inside the paint. The lead ballooned as the Lady Mustangs went on a 10-2 run to close out the half, going ahead 28-10.

“We missed some easy shots but for the most part we did what we were supposed to do,” head coach Tim Jones said.

Junior Ashley Lambert drilled a 3-pointer to open up the third quarter for GHS as the scoring onslaught continued. After back-to-back buckets by Hill, junior Lauren Rhodes ended the quarter with a nifty jump shot for two.

Six Lady Mustangs – Steele, Foster, Hill, Rhodes, Sovi Nou and Geralyn Moon – put points on the board in a 24-point fourth quarter.

Rhodes finished with a full stat line, including 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. Moon, who spelled Steele throughout the game, gathered six rebounds. Nou contributed 10 points.

GHS is back to action tonight against Salinas at 7 p.m. in Gilroy.

Boys basketball

The game plan for the Gilroy High varsity boys basketball team going into its Tri County Athletic League opener against Alisal was to limit the production of the league’s reigning most valuable player, center Jonathon Sosa.

Although Sosa managed 20 points, his scoring was sporadic as the Mustangs were able to minimize his impact in a 61-38 victory over the Trojans on Wednesday night in Gilroy.

“We were going to double him,” head coach Jeremy Dirks said. “We know he’s a good player. We knew he would get buckets but we wanted to make someone else beat us.”

Senior Andrel Gaines scored four of the first six points as the Mustangs (10-3, 1-0) got off to another blistering start, using a full-court press defense and midrange jumpers to bolt out to a 16-7 lead at the end of one quarter.

Seniors Dolapo Opere and Michael Hartman continued their season-long strong play on the boards for the Mustangs, using their bodies to earn multiple opportunities on the offensive end.

“I was pretty pumped for this first game against a TCAL opponent,” Opere said. “At the beginning of the game it felt like a football game. It was physical. We were able to keep Sosa contained and not dominate like he usually does. It was a really good team effort.”

Opere and Hartman combined for 25 of the team’s 47 rebounds, grabbing 13 and 12, respectively.

With leading scorer Greg Hamik forced to the bench in foul trouble in the second quarter, the Mustangs managed just six points in the period, however, the Trojans didn’t fair much better, notching only nine.

Hamik boosted the offense early in the third quarter, scoring eight quick points to help the Mustangs to a 35-21 lead before having to leave the game with four fouls.

Following the Bulldog Chase finals loss to Santa Teresa last week, Dirks challenged his men, looking for another playmaker to create and capitalize on his own shots.

That person Wednesday was junior Cameron Yawary. The 5-foot-9 point guard went on a tear after Hamik’s departure, scoring the next nine Mustang points.

“I’m just looking to help the team, maybe score a few times and get a couple of assists,” Yawary said.

With Yawaray’s help, the Mustangs took a comfortable 48-25 advantage into the fourth quarter.

“Someone else needed to step up tonight,” Dirks said. And someone did.”

Yawary’s 11 points were a team high. He also came away with four steals. Hamik finished with 10 points in limited time and Opere added nine points to his hefty rebounding numbers. Gaines contributed eight points and ripped off four steals to accompany six rebounds and four assists.

In all, 10 Mustangs had at least one bucket on the night.

GHS continues league action Saturday night against a talented Salinas squad who defeated North Salinas 46-22 on Wednesday, improving to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in league.

“Starting off 1-0 instead of 0-1 is great for the psyche,” Dirks said. “This would be a great one to go and kind of celebrate but we have Salinas on Saturday. They are probably the favored team. It’s a big test, can’t take a day off.”

Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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