Freshman Cynthia Pinto drives to the hoop during Wednesday's
music in the park san jose

Pinto nets 17 points in 54-32 nod for sixth straight victory at
Gavilan College.
GILROY – The Gavilan College women’s basketball team showed that the 4-0 blitz through the South Division of the Coast Conference recently was not a fluke, methodically downing fellow North Division foe Mission 54-32 Wednesday night at Bud Ottmar Gymnasium.

The Saints, slipping to 6-6 overall, were missing their leading scorer, Dominique Ross. That change of plans with the starting line-up may have been one strong factor in the Mission loss, although the punishing pressure put on in the second half by the Rams may have squelched even a Saints team at full strength.

“We couldn’t stop their penetration offense,” said Mission coach Tito Addison of the Rams’ 36-18 advantage in the final 20 minutes. “Gavilan’s a good team, they played pretty well at times. We couldn’t do things to stop them.”

Gavilan, 9-4 for the season and 1-0 to start the Coast Conference North action, fell behind 8-0 after seven minutes.

“Our thought was to keep working, it’s a 40-minute game,” Gavilan coach Michael Girardi said of the sluggish start. “We had to work through it, take one possession at a time.”

Gavilan put up just one field goal attempt in the first seven minutes, committing five turnovers while allowing the Saints to take eight shots toward the 8-0 lead.

Once Gavilan dented the scoreboard with a lofted six-foot jumper by Lacey Byers, the Gavilan offense came alive. Cynthia Pinto, the dominant player in the contest, carried the Rams offense with eight points in the first half on the way to a game-high 17.

Though trailing 10-2 midway through the first half, the Rams ran off a 14-2 explosion against the Saints. Pinto, a freshman out of Livingston, threaded two jaw-droppng hoops to lead the comeback. The 5-5 point guard shook off a defender to mesh a 17-foot jumper to leave Mission up 10-6. Pinto then dipped inside the defender to bank home a two-pointer to bring the Rams within one at 12-11. Jennifer Tremblay gave Gavilan the lead with a layup off a Pinto feed with 3:33 left in the half.

Tremblay and Pinto each tossed in four field goals in the second half. Tremblay successfully scored off cuts to the basket, while Pinto netted two fastbreak layups and two mid-range jumpers.

Byers finished with seven points and 12 rebounds, including 10 boards in the second half.

Sabrina Murphy shook off a slow start to finish with 10 points and nine rebounds. Murphy’s spinning left-handed layup through the lane with 4:17 left gave Gavilan a 50-30 cushion.

Nicole Donley generated eight points and added seven rebounds and two steals. Carolyn Beatty came off the bench to score two points and pull down two rebounds.

“We came into the game ranked third in the state in points allowed at 47 per game,” said Girardi. Mission’s 32 points will keep Gavilan among the top three in that category.

“Our guards did a good job of driving to the basket, creating good shots for us,” Girardi said. “Cynthia’s a good ball-handler, does a good job of getting us into our offense. Our offense is actually pretty balanced, four players in double figures.”

Gavilan, with just six players, has a well-conditioned team, according to the head coach.

“There’s no standing in line at practice, so they are in great condition. Also, they are a very tight-knit group. Sometimes with less players they become very close-knit, with well-defined roles.”

The Rams take on Chabot Friday at 7 p.m. in Hayward.

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