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.