Gilroy makes easy work of visiting Salinas, finished first half
of league 6-0.
Deep into the fourth quarter, and with the outcome all but finalized, head coach Tim Jones implored his Gilroy High girls basketball team to work.
He wanted aggression and tenacity at the defensive end and fluidity on offense.
“These (games) are character builders. You kind of want to see what your team is made of,” Jones said.
So far, after the first half of Tri-County Athletic League play, the Mustangs are in first place and currently neck deep in a 12-game winning streak, including a 62-33 rout of visiting Salinas on Tuesday night in Gilroy.
Led by five steals each from Ashley Lambert and Michelle Sosa, the Mustangs (15-1, 6-0 TCAL) forced 19 turnovers and most of those were cashed in at the other end.
A relatively close 17-11 first quarter -owed to a 3-pointer from Salinas’ Hayley Land at the buzzer – became 17-14 after another Land trey to start the second period. Salinas would not score again until the waning second of the half. The Cowboys were kept at bay for the next seven-plus minutes as the Mustangs went up and down the floor on a 17-0 run to take a commanding 34-16 halftime lead.
“The first half, at times, defensively we were soft and allowed some things to happen,” Jones said. “In the second half we changed all of that. We took them apart.”
The cushion never deflated past 16 points in the second half as Jones rotated his players in and out. All nine registered at least two points in the game.
Emily Costa had her best outing in weeks, posting six points while acting a nuisance under the glass, chasing down eight rebounds.
Kaylana Mah had eight points and Kayla Guardino and Alex Rose had two points apiece to give the Mustangs more production off the bench.
“I was really impressed at how the bench played tonight,” Jones said. “They have played better than most of the season. We are very happy. I don’t think you can be upset when your team is at the top of the league. This is a good position to be in. We are on the right track.”
Sosa led all scorers with 16 points while Lambert had 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Chelsea Hill and Ashlee Williams had quieter nights than usual, but still managed to contribute seven points each and combine for 14 rebounds.
The Mustangs are back at home against Alvarez on Thursday. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.