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Fountain Valley girls' basketball uses fast start to get past Newport Harbor

At times this season, the Fountain Valley High girls’ basketball team has had a propensity to start games slowly, followed by a rally that would fall short.

Barons coach Marianne Karp had said in the past that her team needed to find a closer, someone who could finish with the game on the line.

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Perhaps what Fountain Valley really needed was a better start.

The Barons came out on fire from the three-point line, and they rolled past visiting Newport Harbor 65-44 on Tuesday night in a Wave League game.

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Kristen Ho paced the Barons with 11 points on a trio of three-pointers. Tiffany Shimizu and Iris Hasegawa each added 10 points for Fountain Valley (11-12, 1-1 in league).

Fountain Valley made nine of its 10 three-pointers in the first half, allowing the Barons to take a 44-22 lead into halftime.

“It’s just important for us to get a lead because we have a hard time keeping up energy for an entire game,” Hasegawa said. “A lot of times, we’re a team that goes on spurts of energy, versus just having it the whole time.

“Getting that head start in the beginning is really crucial to us because it gives us a little cushion for the rest of the game.”

In the view of Karp, her team played a complete game. She said her team produced its best shooting percentage of the season, and it came on the heels of a team meeting that was held on Monday.

“Everyone contributed,” Karp said after nine Barons scored on Tuesday. “Everyone came to play, and our energy level was up. That’s what we have been looking for is that we had to find someone to bring the energy.

“I don’t know if it was just the kids coming together. We had a little team meeting the other day, and they just decided, ‘We need to do this.’”

Kat Luu and Margaret Tengan keyed a 15-5 run for Fountain Valley to start the game. The duo either scored or assisted on all six of the Barons’ field goals in that span.

Fountain Valley exploded for 27 points in the second quarter. The outburst included six three-pointers, two each by Ho, Shimizu and Hasegawa.

Zoe Ziegler, a 6-foot-4 freshman center for the Barons, added nine points and nine rebounds.

Fountain Valley drew even with Newport Harbor (11-13, 1-1) for second place in the league. Only two automatic CIF Southern Section playoff berths are promised to the four-team league.

Newport Harbor High's Reese Vickers, center, drives between Fountain Valley's Megan Lai (3) and Zoe Ziegler (10) during a Wave League game on Tuesday.
Newport Harbor High's Reese Vickers, center, drives between Fountain Valley's Megan Lai (3) and Zoe Ziegler (10) during a Wave League game on Tuesday. (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Reese Vickers had a game-high 16 points on four three-pointers for the Sailors. Willa Rath added 10 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Emma Fults contributed four points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Sailors coach Jillian Angell said that she had been experimenting with lineups that put Fults at small forward. Doing so enables the Sailors to have their top three rebounding options, including Rath and Chloe Swanson, on the floor at the same time.

“Getting that movement around inside is going to continue to be really big,” Angell said, noting that the assists between her post players were a positive sign.

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Wave League

Fountain Valley 65, Newport Harbor 44

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Newport Harbor 7 – 15 – 11 – 11 — 44

Fountain Valley 17 – 27 – 10 – 11 — 65

NH – Vickers 16, Rath 10, Jover 6, Swanson 5, Fults 4, Muller 2, MacDonell 1.

3-pt. goals – Vickers 4.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

FV – Ho 11, Shimizu 10, Hasegawa 10, Lai 9, Ziegler 9, M. Tengan 6, Rivera 4, Luu 4, Okawa 2.

3-pt. goals – Ho 3, Hasegawa 3, Shimizu 2, Lai 1, M. Tengan 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

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