Girls Hoops: Bishop Amat crushes Sierra Vista, will meet Arcadia in Friday’s semifinals

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
One night after shooting 2 for 26 from 3-point range, the Bishop Amat High School girls basketball team went back to basics and quickly dispatched of Sierra Vista with a 51-22 win in the final round of pool play at the Arroyo Tournament on Wednesday. Amat didn’t concern itself as much with the outside shot, instead preferring to take the ball inside and find opportunities closer to the basket. Led by point guard Michelle Yamamoto’s team-high 11 points, the Lancers found things much easier by hitting cutters to the basket rather than opting for open shooters.

“We get easy shots if we play as a team,” Yamamoto said. “We were definitely better (on offense). We were definitely moving the ball a lot better (than Tuesday).”

Amat improved to 6-2 and will play Arcadia in the semifinals on Friday night. Sierra Vista fell to 3-7.

Still smarting from Tuesday’s poor shooting night in a win against Glendora, the Lancers left nothing to chance early. Amat bolted to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter. As easy as the baskets came for Amat, scoring opportunities for Sierra Vista proved to be equally tough.

“I thought we did a pretty solid job defensively,” Bishop Amat coach Richard Wiard said. “We got some good shots and made a couple of the open ones early and I thought that loosened us up a little bit.”

Amat led 26-9 at halftime, and then Yamamoto came out with the hot hand in the third quarter.

The senior found Leeah Powell under the hoop for an easy basket and a 30-9 lead. Moments later, Yamamoto scored on a drive to make it 32-12. Powell then returned the favor by finding Yamamoto cutting through the middle of the key for another easy bucket.

Yamamoto wasn’t done, though. Later in the third period she stole a pass and found Paulina Santana for an easy layup. Yamamoto later added a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in the quarter to give Amat a 42-13 lead going into the fourth.

“I didn’t really create those shots, those are plays called for me,” Yamamoto said. “It was mostly good passes from my teammates.”

Wiard said he feels that his team can learn important lessons from early season games against teams with different styles. With only two starters back from last year’s team, Amat can certainly use all the rehearsals it can get before Del Rey League play begins next month.

“Every game is a preparation for league,” Wiard said. “We were able to see a different kind of zone (defense) tonight. They played a switching man-to-man for a while. So, those are opportunities for us to see stuff that we might see in league and maybe later on in the playoffs.”

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