Gaels look for answers after defeat

BURBANK — With just a couple of weeks left in summer league competition for the Holy Family girls’ basketball team, anything that it can learn will be of big help.

That’s the way Holy Family second-year Coach Ernest Siy will approach it after the Gaels came within one victory of qualifying for the CIF playoffs last February.

“We have some new players, and as long as we steadily improve, we will be OK,” Siy said following Holy Family’s 39-28 loss to Maranatha on Tuesday afternoon in a Providence High Summer League contest. “I told them that Maranatha is typically a team that makes the playoffs every year, and if you want to make the playoffs, you play against teams like these.

“We got to experience defensive pressure that was put on us and how we need to improve by blocking out. To lose by 11 to a team like that, I’m good with that.”

The Gaels, who finished fourth in the Horizon League last season and fell to Los Angeles Sacred Heart of Jesus in a play-in contest, trailed throughout Tuesday’s game. The Minutemen got out to a 6-1 lead off a couple of Holy Family turnovers, forcing Siy to call a timeout.

Holy Family got a three-point play from guard Shabby Talab, one of three Gaels to pick up all-league honors last season, to cut the deficit to 18-10 with 1:05 left in the first half. Maranatha held an 18-10 halftime advantage.

The Gaels could get no closer than 10 points in the second of two 20-minute halves. A reverse layup by guard Jennifer Fisher sliced Maranatha’s lead to 31-21 with 4:40 remaining.

Holy Family received nine points apiece from Talab and Fisher, who led the Gaels last season, averaging 9.5 points and 2.2 steals per game. Teammate Gayle Lachica, a forward who was named to the all-league first-team last season, contributed five points.

In the final two weeks, Siy said he’s already outlined some goals for his squad.

“We definitely have to be patient on working breaking the press,” Siy said. “We have a good core coming back with Gayle, Shabby and Fisher.”

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