Gaels finish off summer with defeat

BURBANK — With the summer season coming to a close Tuesday night for the Holy Family basketball team, Gaels assistant Roel Sanchez provided an analysis on where the team stands.

"Right now, we are somewhere between the junior varsity and varsity level," Sanchez said after Holy Family fell, 55-27, to Heritage Christian in a Providence High Summer League game. "We have good balance between our height and speed, and that looks good going into the season.

"We still do need to work on our shooting and defense some more."

Holy Family, which qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA playoffs last season following a second-place finish in the Horizon League, never led against Heritage Christian. However, the Gaels had a bright spot in junior guard Melissa Chan, who finished with a team-high seven points.

Chan, who transferred to Holy Family from Ramona Convent after last season, provided a glimpse as to possibly being one of the Gaels' go-to players next season.

"I'm coming in trying to be a better defensive player," said Chan, who made a three-pointer to bring Holy Family to within 13-5 with 16:30 left in the first half. "I've been able to improve my defense and my offense throughout the summer."

Sanchez, who coached the team throughout the summer in place of head coach Ernest Siy, said the Gaels have the potential to build their team around Chan following the losses of all-leaguers Gaby Diaz, Jennifer Rodriguez, Elena Lomeli and Alexandra Mata.

"Melissa will be a big part, just from her speed and hustle all over the court," Sanchez said. "We can use her as an example to the rest of the team, and get the other players to follow her."

A basket by Tabitha Ruiz cut Heritage Christian's lead to 35-18 with 50 seconds remaining in the first half. Heritage Christian led, 35-18, at halftime after recording 14 of their 26 second-chance points in the first half.

Charisse Talaro and Rianne Sanchez contributed six points apiece for the Gaels.

Talaro made a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 51-25 with 9:35 remaining in the game.

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