Prep Basketball: San Benito routs Gilroy

Gilroy's Corinne Lombardo goes up for a shot against San Benito during their game Jan. 20.

GILROY—Gilroy reeled from the absence of one its stars Tuesday night in its 54-25 loss to San Benito and the Baler’s hot-shooting Adriana Ibana.
Ibana hit four consecutive 3-point baskets, leading her team in their rout of the Mustangs at Gilroy High.
“They were in that zone and it changed everything… when Adriana hit all those 3s it kind of won the battle of that zone. It was a zone-buster,” Balers coach Mitch Burley said.
The Mustangs struggled without point guard Nia Pollard, who is ineligible to play. Her absence, teammate Maddy Cox said, led to confusion.
“We’ve been having a tough time since Nia has been out,” said Cox, who led her team with eight points and eight rebounds. “We don’t really have a point (guard) so there’s no one in control. Nia brought a lot of enthusiasm to the team…it’s kind of quiet without her… We just need to bring that passion for the game.”
The rivals exchanged leads early on and were tied 6-6 when Ibana came off the bench and broke the game open. She hit her first 3-pointer and Denise Martinez added a basket for the Balers, giving them their first lead at 11-6.
Gilroy’s Andrea Gracia grabbed a rebound and scored, but the Mustangs’ momentum was erased when Ibana again hit a 3 from the outside. She led the Balers with 12 points. Martinez added 10 points, four rebounds and an assist.
Adina Valencia opened the second quarter with a score to get Gilroy within six. But again Ibana answered, this time with back-to-back 3-pointers—thanks to a Mustang turnover—and the Balers surged to a 22-10 lead.
“I think our 3-ball wasn’t falling tonight and that was a big difference,” Mustangs coach Mitchell Pierce said. “Turnovers (hurt us); it’s going to be tough to stay in a ballgame that way.”
Gilroy gave San Benito extra opportunities as it turned the ball over 18 times. Anjelica Collins added to the Mustangs’ troubles with five steals.
The Balers’ hammered Gilroy with layup after layup, forcing it out of the press defense and into man-to-man coverage.
Defensively San Benito crowded the basket, which cut off the Mustangs’ rebounding chances and shut down shooting lanes.
“I give it to Hollister, they played solid defense and got the turnovers,” Pierce said. “I think that we’ll do ourselves a favor by making better passes and better decisions.”
The Balers improved to 12-4 with the win and host Monte Vista Christian at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Gilroy falls to 7-10. The Mustangs will be after their first league win when they play crosstown rival Christopher at 7 p.m. Thursday at CHS.

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