BURBANK — There was no strength in numbers for the members of the Holy Family basketball team Monday night.
With respect to their roster, the Gaels fielded just seven players. After the first quarter of their opening-round game against L.A. Baptist in the 14th annual Pioneer Shootout, they had no points.
It added up to be a long night for the Gaels, who suffered a 71-24 loss at Providence High.
In fact, Holy Family Coach Ernest Siy said he wasn't aware that the Gaels had been held scoreless until he examined the team's scorebook after the game. It marked the first time this season that the Gaels (1-6) were held scoreless in a quarter.
"I didn't know we didn't score," said Siy, whose team will battle St. Genevieve in a consolation game at 12:30 p.m. today. "It's never easy, but we wanted to be able to stay competitive."
L.A. Baptist (7-3) could do no wrong against the Gaels. It grabbed most of the rebounds and capitalized on numerous Holy Family turnovers to build a 20-0 lead after the first quarter. The Knights, who will meet Louisville in a winner's-bracket contest at 6:30 today, fielded a 14-member roster that continued to wear the Gaels down by the possession.
Siy sensed that would be a problem for the Gaels, who lost their fourth game in a row and didn't get on the board until senior guard Clarizza Merino scored on a layup to make it 26-2 with 5:12 left in the second quarter.
"After I called the first timeout in the first quarter, it was obvious that they were more athletic, bigger and faster," said Siy, who received six points apiece from junior guard Gaby Diaz and Merino and five from junior forward Elena Lomeli. "They got a lot of easy layups and the outcome was evident.
"I had to make sure that the effort from our team was still going to be there."
The Knights held a commanding 41-11 halftime lead and then limited the Gaels to two points in the third quarter to extend their advantage to 63-22.
L.A. Baptist received a game-high 20 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals from junior forward Monet McNally, 12 points and 11 rebounds from Katelyn Ortiz and 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists from sophomore forward Nicole Urenda.
Despite the lopsided loss, Siy said the Gaels plan to achieve several goals during the remaining three days of the tournament.
"We still have an opportunity to win the rest of our games," said Siy, who got a team-best three steals from junior forward Jennifer Rodriguez. "Even if we leave here 2-2, I'm still happy.
"It's a tournament that's got a lot of good competition. Playing [L.A. Baptist] is good practice for us."