Tracy High’s girls basketball team took advantage of its height and exploited West’s turnovers in a 48-42 win at West High on Monday, Jan. 6.
West took an early lead after the Wolf Pack (2-13) came out with aggressive ball-handling and rebounding for a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter but the Bulldogs (7-9) outrebounded West in the second and third quarters and turned West’s missed passes into scoring opportunities.
Tracy coach Derek Solano saw that West was able to run past the Bulldogs’ full-court press, so Tracy went back to a half-court press and was better able to force turnovers.
Tracy senior forward Sarah Rodriguez said the Bulldogs also coordinated well on the court.
“We just hustled and played well together,” she said, adding that one difference on Monday was the addition of new teammate Natalie Johnson, a sophomore, who transferred from Ripon Christian High this year and played her first game of the season after becoming eligible under California Interscholastic Federation transfer rules.
“She played well and we just tried to fit it all together,” Rodriguez said.
Johnson said that the team is ready to hit its stride with San Joaquin Athletic Association play to begin next week.
“We’re encouraging each other all the time and we push each other to play better,” Johnson said. “We have 13 girls and we’re pretty much equal.”
West coach Emilio Guzman said his team’s mistakes on Monday were costly.
“Our turnovers killed us, and they were unforced turnovers,” he said. Tracy was able to hold West to just one field goal in the third quarter and the Bulldogs held a 42-24 lead going into the fourth.
The Wolf Pack got back in the game after that, outscoring Tracy 18-6 in the fourth. West sophomore forward Brittney Reyes hit two 3-point shots and junior guard Sandy Barbosa also hit a 3-pointer.
“We were just really pumped up,” Barbosa said. “We were really working together when we were doing good.”
Scoring leader for the night was Tracy junior Toni Harrison with 16 points, and she also had four steals. Rodriguez scored nine for Tracy, Johnson scored seven and freshman Caitlin Bowman had eight rebounds.
Reyes was West’s top shooter with 12 points, and she had 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Brenna Claus scored seven points for West.
Both teams have one more game on the road Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Tracy at Golden Valley in Merced and West at Lodi – before league play begins. Tracy opens SJAA play at Franklin High in Stockton on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and West will host McNair that night to open Tri-City Athletic League play.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.