GIRLS HOOPS: CHS closes holiday tournament on high note

Sophia Amelio tries to fight off a double team in the Cougars'

Cougars defeat Del Mar 33-30, start league play Tuesday at North
Monterey County.
It got a little bit better each day.

An evening practice following a difficult 55-24 loss to Leigh in Game 1 of the Dons Club Holiday Tournament on Monday sparked a motivated performance Tuesday against King’s Academy. But a 35-31 loss ensued.

Still, the Christopher High girls varsity basketball team had win No. 1 for the week on its mind as they closed out tournament play against host Del Mar on Thursday.

And sure enough, the progress forward continued as the Cougars prevailed 33-30 to move to 3-5 on the season.

“The girls battled in that game,” CHS head coach Heather Stewart said. “They were determined.”

The Cougars and Dons met in Gilroy to begin the season Dec. 3 with Del Mar coming out on top 33-22.

But with three more weeks of games under their belts, the Cougars took what they learned in the teams’ previous meeting to pull out the win.

“That was part of our pre-game,” Stewart said. “We said to the girls, ‘we know their style, we know how they play. Have you improved or not?’ For the girls to see that improvement will increase their confidence.”

The Cougars, who have had to shuffle their lineup throughout the early portion of the season due to various reasons, Stewart said, welcomed back forward Merrett Brown into the rotation for Thursday’s tourney finale.

“We haven’t had a game with everyone there yet,” Stewart said. “Getting Merrett back was good for us. The girls are starting to pick up that basketball sense. We are starting to see those light bulbs come on.”

Things beginning to click for the Cougars couldn’t arrive at a better time with Monterey Bay League play starting Tuesday night at defending league champ North Monterey County.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Stewart said. “We are looking to compete in league right off the bat.”

The Condors posted a 6-6 preseason record. Tip off for Tuesday’s game is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Castroville.

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