GIRLS HOOPS: First-place Vikings topple Lady Mustangs, 54-47

 

GILROY – A second-half push kept the Gilroy High girls varsity
basketball team within striking distance of visiting North Salinas,
but a plethora of turnovers in the first-half ultimately came back
to haunt the Lady Mustangs in a 54-47 loss in Tri County Athletic
action Tuesday night.
GILROY – A second-half push kept the Gilroy High girls varsity basketball team within striking distance of visiting North Salinas, but a plethora of turnovers in the first-half ultimately came back to haunt the Lady Mustangs in a 54-47 loss in Tri County Athletic action Tuesday night.

After trailing 28-14 at the end of the first half, the Lady Mustangs gave the first-place Lady Vikings (14-2, 4-0) a scare, cutting the deficit in half by the end of the third quarter and pulling to within one point with three minutes remaining in the game.

“We didn’t really play together as a team,” junior Lauren Rhodes said. “Our passes weren’t there and we had a lot of turnovers.”

The turnovers came at an alarming rate in the first half, including a string of four straight in which the Mustangs could not penetrate past midcourt. The turnovers resulted in eight unanswered Vikings’ points to put them up 17-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Unable to take care of the ball, the Lady Mustangs lacked continuity on offense and their attack was grounded with little chance of taking off in the first half.

“We didn’t practice well the last couple of days and we weren’t focused,” head coach Tim Jones said. “We talked about (North Salinas) putting pressure on us, but when you aren’t making the right passes and turning the ball over, that’s what happens.”

Tuesday’s loss comes on the heels of another tough league-loss to rival San Benito last Thursday, dropping the Lady Mustangs (11-6, 3-2) into third place in the competitive TCAL, behind the Vikings and Alisal.

The sting of the slow start continued in the second quarter as GHS converted on just one shot from the field – a Sovi Nou jumper to open up the period.

After back-to-back 3-pointers by Viking Alyssa Ayala, increasing the lead to 37-20, something clicked for the Lady Mustangs as they began to claw their way back into the contest.

Buckets by Dani Hemeon, Lindsey Foster, Geralyn Moon, Rhodes and a 3-pointer by Nou, contributed to an 11-4 run, capped by another Hemeon score at the buzzer, to bring the Lady Mustangs within eight, 41-33 entering the fourth quarter.

An Ashley Lambert trey followed by a layup by the junior point guard had Gilroy within three as the clock ticked to less than four minutes. A Foster put-back bucket brought the score to 45-44, the closest the Lady Mustangs would come.

“We just have to have the confidence,” Rhodes said. “The next time we play them it will be a battle.”

Rhodes finished with team-high in points and rebounds with eight and nine, respectively. Nou, Lambert, Chelsea Hill and Laura Steele had seven points apiece. Foster posted six points and both Moon and Hemeon had four points.

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