Long drought dooms Vaqs

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — The Glendale Community College women’s basketball team has lost games this season because it has either turned the ball over too many times, hasn’t played well for 40 minutes or has had woes on defense.

It lost Thursday partly because “it hit a wall.”

The Vaqueros went five minutes without a basket in the first half of their game against visiting Mira Costa in the inaugural Christmas Crossover four-team round-robin tournament, and watched as the Spartans scored 11 unanswered points and took a nine-point lead.

Mira Costa’s run was too much for the Vaqueros to overcome, as they never came closer than four after the spurt in a 53-46 home loss, dropping their sixth-straight game and 10th in their past 11.

“We can’t play for 40 minutes,” Vaquero Coach Carrie Miller said. “We hit a wall. We couldn’t score and we weren’t playing well defensively.”

The Vaqueros (3-11) finally started playing well defensively in the final five minutes of the game, but by that time, the Spartans had a 16-point lead that Glendale trimmed to seven with just over two minutes to play. The Vaqueros never got closer than seven.

“We tend to get down and start playing really well,” Miller said. “We have to play 40 minutes.”

Miller is also looking for her team to improve its free-throw shooting.

Glendale was seven of 18 (38.9%) from the line, and Miller knows the missed opportunities made a difference, especially early in the second half.

With the Vaqueros trailing, 28-24, forward Daniela Parada stepped to the line for Glendale. The freshman missed both throws, and Mira Costa’s Megan Fennessy grabbed the rebound, and went the length of the court before being fouled and making both of her free throws to give the Spartans a six-point cushion.

“We shoot free throws every day,” said Miller, whose team was 19 of 61 (31.1%) from the field. “We struggle and we have a hard time making free throws and settling down. If we hit some of those, we’re right there in the game.”

Fennessy was one of three Spartans to score in double figures, finishing with a game-high 17 points and nine rebounds. Teammate Katy Salyer had 14 points and eight rebounds and Angelina Hix had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Sophomore Michelle Eclar, a Glendale Adventist Academy graduate, led the Vaqueros with 13 points and five steals, Alexandra Mancillas had nine points and Jenee Stevenson had eight.

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