Gaels still in search of victory

BURBANK — Down two points entering the fourth quarter, it appeared that the Holy Family basketball team had a good chance to pick up its first victory.

That possibility vanished in a hurry during a three-minute stretch to open the final stanza and prolonged the Gaels' search for their first victory for another day.

"We are going to get a win, sooner or later," Holy Family Coach Ernest Siy said after the Gaels dropped a 39-30 decision to Carpinteria in a consolation quarterfinal game of the 15th annual Pioneer Shootout at Providence High. "We hope it's the next game.

"We've been getting beat by 18-20 points, even 25 points in most of our games. For us to finally be in a close game can be nothing but a great learning experience."

Holy Family, which dropped to 0-9 and will take on Canoga Park or St. Genevieve in another tournament game at 9:30 a.m. today, trailed, 22-20, going into the fourth quarter. Carpinteria, which improved to 4-7 and will meet Canoga Park or St. Genevieve at 12:30 p.m. today in a consolation contest, began the final quarter with a 10-1 run to take a 32-21 lead with 5:05 remaining.

The Gaels, who started the tournament Monday with a 46-13 loss against Louisville, got no closer than 37-30 on a three-pointer by senior forward Elena Lomeli with 53.6 seconds left.

"Carpinteria had that fourth-quarter run early and we just couldn't recover," said Siy, whose team qualified for the playoffs last season. "Defensively, they played well and they executed on their scoring opportunities.

"It's the most points we've scored all year. We had a bit of a hot streak in the second quarter. For us to be in a close game, we can't let up."

Holy Family struggled early with its shooting, making only one shot in the first quarter. The Gaels began to heat up in the second quarter, making three three-pointers in the final two minutes of the first half to close to within 15-12 at halftime.

Senior guard Gaby Diaz made two three-pointers in a 20-second stretch to cut Carpinteria's lead to 10-9. Holy Family junior guard Natalia Neris made a three-pointer to end the first half.

"We've talked about the need to take open shots," Siy said. "If you get it, shoot it.

"That's how we were able to get back into the game."

Holy Family finished with six three-pointers, three from Diaz and two from Neris. Neris' last three-pointer knotted the game at 20 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.

Diaz finished with a game-high 14 points and added three steals for the Gaels, who got 10 points from Neris, 10 rebounds from Lomeli and seven rebounds from senior forward Jennifer Rodriguez.

The Warriors got a big game from junior forward Juli Cullins, who contributed 10 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks. Teammate Morgan Wallace, a freshman guard, recorded eight points and four steals.

Carpinteria blocked five shots and had 15 steals.

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