CALEXICO — The Vincent Memorial Scots corralled the Borrego Springs’ Lady Rams 44-34 Friday night at home in a girls’ Varsity high school basketball Manzanita League matchup.
Vincent Memorial’s shooting guard Genesis Jimenez broke the seal on a three pointer from the right wing and Ana Maria Gonzales followed up with a routine jump shot to give the Scots a 5-0 lead early in the first quarter.
But Borrego Springs got on the board when Vanessa Rodarte penetrated Vincent Memorial’s zone defense and drove in a layup.
After Gillian Ward hit a pull-up jumper for the Lady Rams, but the Scots’ Odett Ochoa responded with a shot of her own from inside the paint to maintain the lead at 7-4 with 2:40 to go in the opening period.
The Rams’ Karen Garcia dropped one from inside the free throw line and Michelle Delgadillo made a banked shot to briefly steal the lead for Borrego Springs, but Jimenez closed out the quarter with a stop and pop from the right elbow as the Scots reclaimed the lead 9-8.
At the beginning of the second period, Garcia pulled up from the left corner and sank one to start off an 11-2 run by the Lady Rams. Delgadillo put in three free throws, while Rodarte banked one in from the left wing, and Gabriela Rocha and Elena Lepe each added jump shots to the sequence, giving Borrego Springs a 19-11 lead with a minute remaining before halftime.
Ania Armenta found the bottom of the net and Jimenez shot two more long balls from behind the arc that evened up the contest 19-19 to close out the first half.
The third quarter began with the Lady Rams converting two quick buckets before Ochoa made a layup to make it a one-score game at 23-21, Borrego Springs.
Both teams began to settle in defensively and execute at a higher percentage offensively in the second half, as the contest heated up with each team exchanging short shots.
With 2:53 to go before the end of the third period, Gonzales buried a three pointer from the top of the key to pull the Scots to within one point at 27-26.
Katia Cortes and Ochoa drained two more buckets for Vincent Memorial to grab the 30-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
Gonzales drained another three from downtown as the Scots set up in a full court trapping press after each made basket in the fourth.
Four straight steals yielded a 9-2 run for Vincent Memorial as the flustered the Borrego Springs ball handlers continued to miss the extra pass.
The Scots remained consistent from mid-range as Ochoa sank another pull up with 2:20 left to play, giving her team a healthy 40-30 advantage.
The Lady Rams were only able to match baskets the rest of the way, and were clipped by the Scots with a final score of 44-34. Vincent Memorial now claims an undefeated 2-0 record in conference play.
“The girls came out ready to play today,” said Jesus Gonzales, Vincent Memorial’s head coach for the girls’ Varsity basketball team. “It was neck and neck for three quarters until we dug in a little bit deeper and came up with some defense down the stretch and that was the difference tonight. The girls fought really hard tonight and they showed that they want to be league champs.”