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Holy Family basketball too much for St. Monica Academy

Holy Family basketball too much for St. Monica Academy
Holy Family center Natalia Neris scored six points for the Gaels.
(Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

EAGLE ROCK — The Holy Family girls’ basketball team didn’t want to talk about its 32-point loss in its season-opening game.

But it had plenty to talk about after its second game of the season.

The Gaels recovered from their loss with a dominating performance against an eight-member St. Monica Academy squad that consists of five freshmen and three juniors.

Holy Family forced 38 turnovers, tallied 21 steals and received a game-high 22 points from Charise Talaro in a 61-16 nonleague victory Thursday at the Eagle Rock Recreational Center.

“We wanted vengeance from what we did last time,” Talaro said. “Our intensity was different this time.”

Holy Family lost to Mayfield, 58-26, on Tuesday and Talaro and freshman Tabitha Ruiz said they learned valuable lessons.

“In our last game, we didn’t spend that much energy,” Talaro said.

Added Ruiz: “We didn’t know what to expect in our first game on varsity.”

In her second game, Ruiz was a force with 13 points and 10 steals.

“Tabitha is adjusting well,” said Holy Family Coach Ernest Siy, who also received 10 points from Alex Mata and six points from Natalia Neris. “She’s going to develop into a solid player.”

Talaro, just a sophomore in her first year on varsity, and Ruiz took over in the first half.

After St. Monica Academy’s Therese Boles sank a pair of free throws to cut the Gaels’ lead to six, Holy Family dominated for the following seven minutes.

Holy Family scored 27 unanswered points, with Talaro and Ruiz accounting for 22 of those points. The Gaels started the second quarter with eight points in less than a minute — all from Talaro and Ruiz — as it had a 22-5 lead before St. Monica Academy called a timeout.

The Gaels held a 40-9 lead at the half, when they had already forced 25 turnovers and shot 18 of 33 (54.5) from the field. Holy Family finished with 28 made field goals to St. Monica Academy’s seven.

“When we went away from reaching and playing lazy defense, it led to easy baskets,” Siy said.

St. Monica Academy struggled to simply cross midcourt with Holy Family’s pressing.

Once the Gaels let up on their press, St. Monica Academy (1-2) worked on its offensive sets as it continues to develop in the young season.

“This team is new,” St. Monica Coach Colleen Smith said. “Many of them have never played basketball before. We’ve had very few practices. These games are practices for us.”

Boles, a freshman, led her team with nine points and junior Elise Bertino-Clark had five points.