By Nathan Cambridge, Correspondent
The Rosemead High School girls basketball team topped Arroyo 32-25 on Wednesday to give the visiting Panthers 19 consecutive Mission Valley League wins. “The victory means a lot to us because we are basically trying to keep our streak alive, and we know Arroyo is our biggest challenge,” Rosemead coach Jay Gauthier said. (to continue click thread)
The Panthers (8-11, 3-0) held the Knights (7-12, 2-1) to five first-half points, then withstood a spirited fourth-quarter comeback to prolong the streak and emerge as the last unbeaten team in league.
“We got out good and played good defense,” Gauthier said. “We let them come back a little more than we wanted to.
“I thought the girls kept their poise well, worked together well. They were a real good cohesive unit together.”
After trailing by as many as 12 points in the final quarter, Arroyo scored nine consecutive points to cut the Panthers’ lead to 26-23 before Rosemead’s Melody Gauthier took a three-point shot from deep on the side of the court that glanced off the backboard, rolled around the rim and dropped through the net.
“(Rosemead) made a couple big shots, give them credit,” Arroyo coach Mike Gorball said. “That one three-point shot that hung on the rim for a couple seconds. They made shots. When it came to crunch time, their best player made shots.”
Gauthier also scored the game’s final three points on free throws to secure the victory. The sophomore finished with 18 points to lead all scorers. Priscilla Franco was second on the team with five points and a team-high nine rebounds.
“So basically we look to (Melody) quite a bit to make a play when it’s needed and be that stabilizing force,” Gauthier said of his star player and daughter.
The Rosemead defense held Arroyo to one basket in the first quarter, a layup by Angelica Ruedas, and led 6-2 after one quarter. The Panthers continued their stifling defensive effort in the second quarter by holding the Knights to three points and earning a 17-5 halftime lead.
“Defense wins games,” Gauthier said. “If they can’t score, what are they going to do? We said coming in if we hold them to 25 or less, we are going to win the game because it’s doubtful we are going to score less than that.”
In the third quarter the Arroyo defense stepped up and held the Panthers to four points, but the Knights managed only nine points of their own. Arroyo’s Arlene Reyes had all five of her points to finish the third quarter and draw her team to within seven.