The consolation final of the Dons Club Holiday Tournament hosted by Del Mar High School had a little bit of everything. For the Christopher High girls varsity basketball team, though, the only detail it lacked was a victory.
Against Mountain View, the Cougars were able to elevate themselves out of a 14-point hole and grab a four-point lead with two minutes to play. However, three turnovers down the stretch and a three-point play sent CHS to a 50-48 defeat Friday night in San Jose.
“They played tough and more disciplined in the second half,” CHS head coach Heather Stewart said. “(They) just needed to make smarter decisions at the end of the game.”
The Cougars trailed 26-21 at halftime and 40-31 by the end of the third quarter. Sisters Hanna and Olivia Tabron each posted double-doubles. Hanna Tabron, a junior, put up 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Olivia Tabron, a freshman, chipped in 16 points and 10 boards. Other scorers included Dejah Raoof with three points and Anjelica Carrillo, Merrett Brown and Cydney Caradonna each had two points. Hanna Tabron was named to the all-tournament team. It was her second such distinction this season. She also earned the award at the Watsonville Wildcatz Invitational.
Friday night’s loss capped a three-game stint at the tournament, which also included a 50-29 defeat to San Mateo on Tuesday and a 69-21 victory against Overfelt on Wednesday.
Friday’s contest also marked the conclusion of the Cougars’ nonleague slate of games. CHS finished that 11-game portion of its schedule at 7-4 with wins over Gilroy, North Salinas and Live Oak, included in that total.
Monterey Bay League action begins at home Tuesday at 7 p.m. against North Monterey County. The Condors, who won the MBL postseason tournament a season ago, have struggled out of the gates this season, and are 1-11 heading into the league opener.
– JV note: The Junior varsity girls basketball team finished second at the Del Mar Tournament. Teresa Guerra and Ally Foster were named to the all-tournament team.
• Head coach Matt Tait’s summation of his Gilroy High boys basketball team’s 39-38 loss to Union Mine in the consolation final of the Bulldog Chase Tournament last Thursday wasn’t meant sarcastically. In reality, his quick four-word assessment characterized the first month of the Mustangs’ season.
“Same stuff, different day,” Tait said.
Gilroy’s gritty defense has routinely kept them in ball games, and in some cases won some, too. That defense again earned the Mustangs (5-7) a chance at victory Thursday night. Down by one point and with 45 seconds remaining in the fourth, Gilroy forced a turnover and ran its set play at the offensive end to perfection, resulting in an open look at the hoop for the game winner. The shot didn’t fall, though – a microcosm of the season thus far.
“The guys played hard,” Tait said. “We held them under 40. Unfortunately, we held ourselves to 38.”
GHS held its three opponents in the 40-point range and went 1-2 at the tournament, picking up a 52-42 triumph over host Sobrato in between the Union Mine defeat and a 44-40 overtime loss to Damonte Ranch.
Christian Goldstein averaged 15 points over the three games and was named to the all-tournament team.
The Mustangs, who kick off Tri-County Athletic League play on the road Wednesday against Alvarez, have yet to find their stroke from the field this season, averaging in the ball park of 44 points per outing. Their roster lists 10 seniors – half are in first-year varsity players and another four who were role players last season. Tait attributed the slow start to a bit of inexperience as players find themselves in uncharted waters and adjusting to greater responsibility. Tait has shrugged off various preseason prognosticators’ analysis of his team, which has led to some opinions that the Mustangs will finish last in the TCAL.
“There’s no pressure on us at all,” Tait said. “There is nobody in this league that we can’t play with if we come out and play our game. It’s the TCAL, it will be a fight every night no matter who it is.”
Following Wednesday’s game, the Mustangs host San Benito on Friday night at 7 p.m. The two teams played one another in the final of the Bob Hagen Memorial Tournament on Dec. 17. The Balers won, 52-37.
• An injury-prone month of December for the Gilroy High girls varsity basketball team ended with a 50-36 setback against Harbor on the final day of the four-day Seaside Sweet 16 last Thursday.
Head coach Kort Jensen said the final score was indicative of the 35 turnovers the Mustangs surrendered in the game.
“We just have to do a better job in that area,” Jensen said. “And that comes with experience.”
Younger players had to learn on the fly through the initial four weeks of the season. The Mustangs lost their top-two scorers (Michelle Sosa and Kaylana Mah) within the first two weeks of December, but, behind strong play from seniors Ashlee Williams, Athena Alarcon and Kayla Guardino, and sophomores Brianna Barron, Holly Lam and Leilani Mah, who have been forced to quickly adapt to the varsity level, managed to salvage a 6-4 record heading into the launch of Tri-County Athletic League play Tuesday at home against Alvarez (9-3) at 7 p.m.
“We are set for league. We have no excuses and are ready to go,” Jensen added.
• The Gilroy High boys soccer team’s final day at the Golden State Invitational was spoiled by a late second half goal in a 3-2 loss to Pajaro Valley on Friday in San Jose.
An Andres Jimenez-to-Jonathan Diaz De Leon connection lifted the Mustangs to a short-lived 1-0 lead.
“These two have started to find one another on the field and I’m looking forward to seeing them play in the regular season,” GHS head coach Armando Padilla said.
But for the second time of the tournament, an opponents’ converted penalty kick erased the advantage. Gilroy regained the upper hand via Diaz De Leon’s second tally of the afternoon, cleaning up a scoring chance initiated by a free kick sent into the box by Alejandro Flores. The Grizzlies knotted matters at 2-2 before halftime.
Slotted into a breaket with three other teams boasting a 15-5-1 combined record, the Mustangs went 0-4 (5-1 to Watsonville, 5-3 to Richmond and 4-1 to Loyola were the other losses) at the highly challenging tournament hosted by Bellarmine.
“We heard it all week from otehr coaches, ‘wow, you guys really play fast and move the ball well and play to the last minutes,’” Padilla said. “But we could not translate that into victories. Errors were the difference.”