GIRLS HOOPS: Mustangs topple Vikings to stay unbeaten in league

Go mustangs!

For the second straight game, the Gilroy High basketball team
found itself engulfed in a nail-biter with one of the Tri-County
Athletic League’s top teams.
For the second straight game, the Gilroy High girls basketball team found itself engulfed in a nail-biter with one of the Tri-County Athletic League’s top teams.

Last week it was rival San Benito. The Mustangs staved off a late push by the Balers to earn the win.

On Tuesday night, the league’s defending champion North Salinas overcame an nine-point halftime deficit to create a back-and-forth second half. But, again, the Mustangs didn’t crumble under the pressure down the stretch and knocked off the host Vikings 44-41 to stay unbeaten in league.

“To go anywhere in this league and win on someone else’s court is huge,” GHS head coach Tim Jones said.

Not only did the Mustangs triumph in hostile territory, but another sound defensive performance paid dividends toward the outcome. GHS held the Vikings to just two points in the second quarter, which helped establish the all-important first-half advantage.

“Even from a coaching standpoint, to hold a team of that caliber to two points is impressive,” Jones said. “Once again defensively we did a nice job.”

After a relatively easy TCAL opener against Everett Alvarez, the Mustangs (12-1 overall, 3-0 TCAL) have demonstrated that they have the wherewithal to play through the tougher circumstances, a quality that Jones attributes to experience.

“Right now it’s the leadership of our senior group,” Jones said. “They are really stepping up into that role and the others are following in those footsteps. That helps us in those close games. You need those players who don’t panic down the stretch.”

Senior Chelsea Hill posted a team-high 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Kaylana Mah had eight points and Ashlee Williams scored seven points, pulled down five rebounds and nabbed three steals.

The Mustangs jumped out to a 18-9 halftime lead, but a 20-point third quarter from the Vikings (8-5 overall, 1-1 TCAL) narrowed matters to 32-29 Mustangs into the fourth.

GHS has the rest of the week off and will travel to Alisal on Jan. 18.

“We are hoping to keep the ball rolling,” Jones said.

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