Both the West and Tracy teams took steps forward in the Tom Hawkins/Tracy Breakfast Lions Girls Basketball Tournament on Friday, each with a win in the first round of the four-day, 16-team event at West and Tracy high schools.
West 57, El Capitan 45
West junior Brittney Reyes was the Wolf Pack’s leading shooter on Friday at West High, nailing four 3-point shots, including three in the first half, for her game-high 22-points.
The early scoring run served the Wolf Pack (4-7) well. West jumped ahead 18-3 in the first quarter and was ahead by as much as 21 points in the second before the El Capitan Gauchos (1-5) got back in the game.
“We were hitting our shots really well,” Reyes said. “We were executing plays. Our defense was a lot better.”
She added that her team needs to be strong on defense moving forward, including Friday’s quarterfinal game against Excel Academy of Stockton.
“It all starts with defense and it will carry over into offense.”
Coach Emilio Guzman added that his teams ability to hit shots when players can’t get inside will be the key to future wins.
“I think if we can shoot the way we’re shooting we’ll do OK,” he said. “Reyes caught fire and started shooting those long 3’s. Once she does that she’s tough to guard. The tough part is getting her to that point where she’s shooting.”
Senior Alicia Nunez and junior Taylor Herrera also hit shots from outside the arc on Friday.
The Gauchos outscored West 21-11 in the third quarter and got within seven points early in the fourth.
“We still need to mature to the point where we can learn to play with a lead, and not foul with only minutes left to go in the game,” Guzman added.
Other Wolf Pack leaders included senior Sandy Barbosa with 11 points and seven rebounds, and senior Kate Bell’s six steals for the night, mostly in the first half, helped deny the Gauchos’ their scoring chances.
Tracy 48. Tokay 29
The Bulldogs took an early lead, starting with 3-point shots from senior Brookelynn Juarez, junior Katie Amaral and sophomore Julissa Vargas. The Bulldogs (2-6) still didn’t find consistency on both sides of the court until the second half, when they held Tokay (0-6) to just four field goals for the third and fourth quarters.
Coach Derek Solano said the team’s usual leading scorer, senior Toni Harrison, was out sick, so he was he was glad to see Vargas, who led the Bulldogs on offense with 13 points, including four 3-pointers, step up. Other scoring leaders included Juarez with eight points.
Otherwise Solano felt like his team managed to hold onto the lead even though the Bulldogs did not create its own scoring opportunities.
“(Tokay) gave us a lot of open shots but we missed a lot of open shots, which you can’t control from night to night,” Solano said. “I just wanted us to play better.”
Now Tracy will fast East Union of Manteca Saturday in a rematch of their Dec. 16 game in Manteca, a 62-47 loss for Tracy.
Liberty 62, Manteca 57
Patterson 52, Lathrop 28
Excel Academy 68, Chavez 32
West 57, El Capitan 45
Orestima 51, Gregori 48
Napa 78, Riverbank 19
East Union 56, Modesto 20
Tracy 48, Tokay 29
Patterson vs. Liberty, West High, 6 p.m.
West vs. Excel Academy, West High, 7:30 p.m.
Napa vs. Orestima, Tracy High, 6 p.m.
Tracy vs. East Union, Tracy High, 7:30 p.m.
Lathrop vs. Manteca, West High, 3 p.m.
El Capitan vs. Chavez, West High, 4:30 p.m.
Riverbank vs. Gregori, Tracy High, 3 p.m.
Tokay vs. Modesto, Tracy High, 4:30 p.m.