Prep Basketball: Balers outlast Christopher

San Benito's Alyssa Newman (21) and Callee Heen battle for a rebound with Christopher during their Feb. 10 game at Christopher.

GILROY—The short-handed Cougars took their best shot against San Benito, but the Balers were too much to handle.
Christopher, which was left with just two subs due to injury and sickness, fell 53-38 in Tuesday’s league contest at home.
“Our players are dropping like flies right now,” senior Teresa Guerra said. “We have a couple sick, one hurt and the cold got everybody. …We just have to prevent those and play safe.”
The Balers dominated the boards and outrebounded the Cougars 31-21, which proved to be the difference maker in the game. Christopher allowed San Benito three, four and sometimes even five chances under the basket to score.
“I think we defeated ourselves by not blocking them out,” Guerra said. “We talk about it all the time, but it’s a different thing from talking about it and actually doing it.”
The Cougars jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Christa Arroyo and Guerra, respectively. San Benito fought back to get within a point, 6-5, before taking the lead for good with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Balers Callee Heen fed the ball to the dangerous Adriana Ibarra for a score. Joselyn Gonzalez quickly nabbed a rebound and scored to put San Benito up 13-12. Anjelica Collins grabbed a pivotal steal and made the lay-up to give the Balers a 15-12 lead. Guerra attempted a 3-pointer to tie the game, but it fell just short.
The Cougars shined defensively early in the second quarter, executing the press to give San Benito no room to shoot which created opportunities of their own. Jordan Evanger scored to get Christopher within a point, 19-18, but that’s the closest they’d be for the rest of the game. Baskets from San Benito’s Heen and Denise Martinez helped the team pull away and a 3-point basket from Ibarra gave it a 27-18 lead at halftime.
“We lost on the hustle plays; we didn’t have many,” Christopher coach Robert Otis said. “We made a run and then we get caught for a foul and it changes the momentum a little bit. It’s just a matter of getting back to the drawing board and coming out the next game ready to play.”
Guerra opened the third with a big steal, but was unable to put it in the net. She nailed a 3-pointer midway through the quarter, but San Benito scored seven unanswered points to take a 13-point lead. Guerra hit another 3 late, but San Benito was well in control and led 43-27 heading into the final frame.
Guerra sunk the final basket of the game with just over a minute remaining in the fourth. She led her team with 14 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block. Arroyo added seven points, three boards, a block and a steal. Trinity Stark tallied six rebounds, six points and three steals for Christopher. Angel Harper also scored six and grabbed three steals.
The Cougars are 6-13, 4-5 in league and are fighting for a spot in the Central Coast Section playoffs. They take on the Cowboys at 7 p.m. Thursday at Salinas.
“Our win’s coming the next game, that’s not a question,” Guerra said. “We will practice hard, we’re going to put the tempo up and we’re just going to go out hard and attack them. This loss got us, so we’re coming out hard and we’re going to get the next one.”

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