If the Turlock Christian girls basketball players didn’t score a single point after the first quarter, they’d still have technically won Thursday night’s Southern League contest against Gustine High.
The Eagles never trailed for a moment, fronted a tough-to-overcome 14-0 lead and forced a running clock throughout the final quarter — just some of the highlights in a 71-21 thumping at Calvary Baptist Gym in front of dozens of fans who were rooting for the other team toward the end of the night, perhaps a way to keep themselves entertained.
The Eagles’ biggest lead was 53 points.
“We’ve been working a lot on conditioning and making sure that we run the court,” said senior forward Kaisa Spycher, who finished with 12 points and was one of eight Turlock Christian scorers. “We’ve been focusing on teamwork and meshing well as a team. So I think it’s all kind of starting to come together.”
It was the Eagles’ second consecutive blowout — the first was Monday’s 60-16 league pounding of Delhi High — after being tested and going winless at the West Coast Jamboree against unfamiliar foes.
On Thursday, Turlock Christian held the Redskins to single-digits in every quarter and was ahead 22-3 after the first 8 minutes. The Eagles ruled the court with an abundance of fast break points and pressured the Gustine players into turnovers and bad shots.
But one Eagle didn’t think it was a perfect game.
“When you’re winning, you can get complacent,” said Eagles coach Edwin Santiago after being asked if he had any complaints about his team’s performance. “When you’re ahead in a game, you get complacent and start becoming too comfortable. Not playing defense, not getting into the passing lane, not providing help defense. You start doing those things, you start developing bad habits. We didn’t want to do that. We made sure we stayed sharp.”
He also said that his team wasn’t getting enough rebounds, but that changed with the help of assistant coach Mary Burton, who “made sure they were aware that they weren’t boxing out in the first half.”
That changed in the second half, when the Eagles scored enough points to enforce a running clock.
Though the Eagles (7-6 overall, 2-0 SL) showcased plenty of scoring threats and finished with 17 team assists, it was Molly Farrar who had the best all-around contribution. The senior guard sliced her way through the Redskins defense to finish with a game-high 18 points, to go along with seven assists and six steals.
Other Eagles got in on the fun, as Kara Gabrielson had nine points, Arin Morelli finished with eight and both Mary Sargisian and Marly Burton totaled seven apiece.
The Redskins fell to 3-10 overall and 1-1 in league play. Thursday was only Gustine’s second game since Dec. 15, 2010.
“I think it was harder for them to come up and play after we played so many games,” Santiago said, referring to the Eagles’ tournament play during the winter break. “I think that made a big difference.”
The Eagles expect a challenge today, as they will travel to Oakland to face 5-4 Head-Royce — a Division V state tournament qualifier from last season — at 4:30 p.m. The last meeting between the two teams in 2006 resulted in a 44-32 win for Head-Royce.
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