By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
KISMET—A 15-0 run to end the first half, and another 15-0 run in the fourth were the difference as the Southwestern Heights Lady Mustangs defeated the South Gray Lady Rebels, 56-35.
“I really liked the way our seniors are really stepping up with the leadership we need,” Lady Mustangs coach Barry Mellen said. “Before teams would make runs at us and we would kind of falter, but tonight our seniors stepped into that role, and we haven't done that all year.”
One minute into the second quarter Southwestern Heights was struggling against a long and quick Lady Rebels team and trailed 18-11. And if not for three 3-pointers in the first quarter, they could have been even further behind.
But Heights turned things around in the big way and outscored South Gray 15-0 the rest of the half to take a 26-18 lead at half.
South Gray did not go away. After a Jackie Loya basket for Heights made the lead ten, the Lady Rebels outscored the Lady Mustangs 16-9 to cut the Heights lead back to just 3 (37-34) with7:37 left in the game.
And that was when Heights went on their second 15-0 run that put the last nail in the coffin.
All South Gray could muster the rest of the way was a single free throw with 2:12 left, at that point they already trailed by 20.
“Tonight we played smart basketball, still to many turnovers, but we got back and those turnovers didn't lead to easy scores,” Mellen said. “We did score off of the steals we got and that was probably the difference in the game. We also had some young kids step up too with Ivon (Amparan) out with a twisted knee. We hustled and rebounded against a taller team. ”
Heights finished the game 15 of 25 from 2-point range, 7 of 14 from 3-point range, and 5 of 11 at the free throw line.
Jackie Loya was 8 of 12 from the field and hit three 3-pointers on her way to 19 points. Loya also grabbed 16 rebounds, and five steals.
Nayelly LaPoint was 8 of 17 from the field with a pair of treys. LaPoint also had 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Diana Carillo scored 9 points on 4 of 6 shooting.
Heights (9-8) will travel to Meade Tuesday.