Girls Basketball: Rosemead wins 41st straight Mission Valley contest with 42-24 victory over El Monte

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Any thoughts the El Monte High School girls basketball team had of snapping Rosemead’s 40-game Mission Valley League winning streak disappeared under the pressure of the Panthers’ hawking defense.
Rosemead pressed and forced turnover after turnover to build a quick 12-point lead and never let up, winning 42-24 for its 41st straight league win.
Rosemead, which last lost a league game in 2009, improved to 14-6 and 5-0 to take over sole possession of first.
El Monte had trouble getting past mid-court and was without a field goal in the first quarter, trailing 14-2.
The Lions, which dropped to 11-11 and 4-1, were not just trying to snap the Panthers’ streak, but take over first place.
“We wanted to establish early that we knew they came in thinking they were going to make a run at us,” Panthers coach Jay Gauthier said. “We knew they would play good defense and we knew we weren’t going to score a ton of points, but we wanted to establish we could stop them, and I thought we did a great job of that.”
The Lions limited Panthers leading scorer Melody Gauthier to a game-high 13 points. That’s some feat considering Gauthier is a two-time league MVP averaging 24 points and eight rebounds.
But the Lions had trouble knocking down shots, missing four 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter and managing just one field goal while going 1-for-8 from the foul line.
El Monte’s Tiyana Watkins and Aileen Giang had five points each.
“We did everything defensively we wanted to do,” El Monte coach Cristine Butler said. “Offensively, we couldn’t execute. You’re not going to win scoring (24) points. You have to knock down shots and we didn’t do that.”
Rosemead’s Sydney Hua drained three 3-pointers to finish with 12 points and Sarah Reagan finished with seven.
Gauthier said defending the streak is always difficult.
“It’s a lot of pressure for the girls,” Gauthier said. “I remember coaching when we had a 44-game win streak snapped many years ago. The girls cried their eyes out. It’s a lot of pressure, nobody wants to be the ones to lose. You take a lot of pride in it.”

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