GIRLS’ BASKETBALL PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE ROUNDUP : University Rolls Past No. 10 Estancia
The University girls’ basketball team is a favorite to win the Pacific Coast League title, but despite an 8-4 record going into the league opener with Estancia, Coach Bob Bernal didn’t think the Trojans were playing particularly well.
That assessment may change after a 53-46 victory against 10th-ranked Estancia on Thursday at University.
Bernal got solid work from forward Monique Mathews, who scored eight of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter; 12 points and a key block in the final minute by guard Taylor Stokes, and a crucial three-pointer by guard Raschelle Lawrence that put University ahead, 50-46, with 32 seconds to play.
Just as crucial to the success of the Trojans (9-4, 1-0) was a 2-3 matchup zone to contain Estancia guard Jessica Waltz, who scored 11 points but had trouble penetrating the University defense. Karla Dominguez led Estancia with 14 points.
“That’s the first time this season we’ve played a zone,” Bernal said. “We hadn’t been playing good man-to-man defense; maybe I haven’t been teaching a good man-to-man.”
The Trojans also were hurt by the loss of freshman guard Natasha Combs, who informed the coaching staff Thursday that the travel to and from University had become a hardship.
“That hurts our depth,” said Bernal, who added that he understood Combs is planning to transfer to Capistrano Valley. “Without her we had to do some different things.”
Estancia (9-3, 0-1) can find plenty of reasons for its downfall. First was free-throw shooting; the Eagles missed 10 of their first 11 attempts--a key reason for their early 18-9 advantage evaporating into a 21-20 University halftime lead--and they finished only six for 17.
In other league games:
Costa Mesa 66, Laguna Beach 35--Corri Lurmann scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Mustangs (11-4, 1-0). Teammate Koo Kim added 15. Brandy Boyce scored 10 points to lead the Artists (3-10, 0-1).
Laguna Hills 49, Aliso Niguel 32--Tamara Inoue had 20 points and five steals for visiting Laguna Hills (11-3, 1-0), which outscored Aliso Niguel, 26-16, in the first half. Deanna Mitchelson had 17 points for Aliso Niguel (5-9, 0-1).