Girls Hoops: Days after West Covina’s upset over Bonita, South Hills squeaks by the Bulldogs

By John Honell, Correspondent
A furious second-half comeback pushed the South Hills High School girls basketball team to a 49-47 win over crosstown rival West Covina in the San Antonio League opener for both teams Wednesday night. A two-point jumper by Marisa Gomez with 12.4 seconds left capped a 22-point fourth quarter and proved to be the game-winner. (To continue reading, click thread).

The Huskies (11-4, 1-0) trailed by as many as 14 points but battled back to take a 47-45 lead on a 3-pointer by Renee Duran with 1:21 left in the game.

After the Bulldogs (10-7,0-1) tied it on a basket by Amber Del Real a pair of missed free throws gave the ball back to the Huskies for the game-winner.

“It was intense the whole game,” Bulldogs coach Manuel Lopez said. “We got in a little foul trouble and got a little less aggressive. Once that happened we didn’t play defense the way we needed to and then their pressure got to us.”

The Huskies scored the first five points of the game before the Bulldogs went on a 13-2 run and appeared to take control.

The Huskies, The Tribune’s fifth-ranked team, played their fourth consecutive game against a top 10 team.

“I tried to set up our schedule so we’d be ready for league,” Liang said. “This was a huge win for us. We only play eight league games so there’s not much room for error.”

Natalie Lam came off the bench to score nine of her team-high 13 points in the second quarter as the Bulldogs took a 10-point lead at the half.

“That was one of Natalie’s best games of the year,” Lopez said. “There was about a five-minute stretch (in the third quarter) that changed the game. We started missing layups and free throws and you can’t do that against a good team.”

The Huskies, trailing 30-16, called a timeout with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter.

They came out of the timeout and promptly went on a 10-0 run to get back in the game.

“I told them to settle down,” Huskies coach Tiffany Liang said. “We needed to play better defense, limit them to one shot and get a rebound. The difference was Jackie Valle-Acosta on the boards in the fourth quarter.”

South Hills’ Melinda Gomez led all scorers with 21 points, including eight in the fourth quarter.

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  • scores

    who won yesterday?

  • basketball fan

    South Hills could be a very good team. Too often they turn the ball over for no apparent reason at all. Most of the girls are athletic but don’t seem to have basketball sense or fundamantals. Don’t know if this is something the girls could learn….but if you look at teams like Serra Vista, they beat bigger and more talented teams with smarts and fundamentals. If the girls at South Hills could learn from them or Bonita, they could go a long way. Without Melinda Gomez, they would be in a world of hurt. Good luck anyway girls

  • chonk

    actually that run was 9-0.

  • South Hills Parent

    I completely agree with basketball fan. South Hills is very athletic and they have very good size but they do lack fundamentals. I also think that they could win league and CIF if they had a good coach, just as they should have won last year. West Covina had them beat the entire game with a simple man to man full court press. The West Covina coach should have never taken it off. That being said the officials played a big role in giving South Hills the game. Yes the officials; just go back and look at the game footage and this game was poorly officiated in South Hills favor.

  • basketballfan

    South Hills could not win CIF-even with the best coach-that is really a streach- leaguue yes-CIF no. Turth of the matter is one girl played club. Teams that win CIF or go into the semis have 3 or more girls that paly on club teams. You have to have heart and desire to play club along with talent. Money can be an issue but some programs help with that. Most HS girls that play B ball have very little experience and play for fun or to get a letter. You don’t win CIF with girls who don’t care enough to put in the extra hours or work hard at practice and during the off season. That is what it takes to really win.

    I do think that it does start with coaching. If you have the same girls making the same mistakes over and over, that is a practice problem. You correct it and RUN RUN RUN in practice if they keep doing the same mistakes. Game time, they sit if it continues. But us bloggers are just that, not the coach.