Through the first half, though, the little things were letting the Cougars down, as turnovers, fouls and missed layups sent the contest out of sync. Still, the Cougars held a 28-22, and they wasted no time setting themselves straight in the second on their way to a convincing 55-29 victory over the short-handed Toreadors.
“We were just playing kind of sloppy – too many turnovers. We have to take care of the ball. Those are the little things that I’m saying, when you’re playing teams that can make runs on you, you can’t do. Those are the things that we have to fix,” Stewart said. “In order to build a successful program, it’s all about the details, it’s all about the little things.”
A different Cougars team took control of the game out of the break, using a 3-pointer from Hanna Tabron, four points from Olivia Tabron and buckets by Cydney Caradonna and Dejah Raoof to score 11 straight points before the Toreadors made their one-and-only basket of the second half. The lead ballooned to 45-25 entering the fourth quarter.
CHS held Monterey to a combined 1 of 19 from the floor in the third and fourth quarters. Five of the seven second-half points that were surrendered were from the foul line.
“In the second half we clamped down on defense, we didn’t allow as many second-chance opportunities and our turnovers were less,” Stewart said.
Freshman Olivia Tabron posted 20 points and 12 rebounds, using her 6-foot frame to control the paint.
“Olivia, I could see was on tonight, in terms of mentality. She was definitely a go-to, and I think she got her confidence back tonight,” Stewart said. “She just needs to now maintain it.”
Hanna Tabron finished with 14 points, Caradonna had eight points, nine assists and six steals, and Raoof contributed six points.
The Cougars are in first place through the first couple weeks of MBL action. CHS holds (11-4 overall, 4-0 MBL) a one-game edge in the loss column over Seaside (7-9, 4-1.) The Cougars take on another one-loss team in Monte Vista Christian (9-4, 3-1) on Thursday in Watsonville. Game time is 7 p.m.
The junior varsity Cougars won 60-8.
• Jonathan Diaz De Leon had two goals and two assists, Raymundo Gonzalez had a goal and two assists, and the Gilroy High boys varsity soccer team evened its Tri-County Athletic League record with a 5-1 triumph over Palma on Tuesday in Gilroy.
The Mustangs (4-5 overall, 1-1 TCAL), netted three unanswered goals in the first half (Miguel Orozco, Diaz De Leon – 2) before Palma’s Eric Sotelo made it 3-1 at the break. Both Diaz De Leon goals were assisted by David Valencia.
Gonzalez and Andres Jimenez provided GHS with the comfortable four-goal lead in the second half.
Diaz De Leon has 12 goals in nine games this season for the Mustangs, who face San Benito in Hollister at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
• The Gilroy High girls basketball team fell to first-place Notre Dame 39-32 on Thursday night in Salinas.
The Mustangs (7-8, 1-3 Tri-County Athletic League) set themselves up with a chance to hand the Spirits (11-6, 5-0) their first league loss, taking a 29-25 lead into the fourth quarter. However, Notre Dame outscored GHS 14-3 over the final eight minutes to seal the victory and increase its advantage in the standings to two games.
The Mustangs return home to face Alisal (7-9, 3-2) at 7 p.m. Thursday.