Not gonna lie, it’s been a tough season so far out east for the Lady Jags. Coming into Tuesday’s clash at home with North, the squad was 0-2 in District 31-6A and 2-19 overall. The youthful and size-depleted bunch has battled but has just not been able to get much traction so far.
But for spate there against North, Econ was hitting the mark, as the girls took an 8-6 lead in the first period and were down just 8 at the break. Though they faded in the second half, losing 60-25, the Lady Jags had echoed their coach’s pregame talk.
“We have had it tough, a very young group, and we don’t have that big girl down low, getting rebounds,” Mari Campos noted before the tip. “But we are always going to come out and fight you, count on that. We have some good kids coming up the pipeline, an eighth-grade team that was undefeated, so I think we’re going be a lot better soon. We just have to keep working and let things take of themselves.”
Though the Lady Jags are without proven banger Brittany Cantu (knee injury), they have gotten sophomore Karla Perez back into action after her own training room travails. The younger sister of program legend Silvia Perez did a credible job Tuesday, scoring six and getting nine rebounds. Econ held its own on the glass as lanky junior Nicole Torres grabbed a game-high 11 caroms and led the squad with eight points. In some ways she reminds one of the graduated Daniella Cantu, a fiery rebounder who also wore No. 5.
In stretches the Lady Jags were very competitive, but they just could not handle the North press. Coach Jenny Garcia’s calling card during her tenure at the school has been a harassing D, and after the half that crew came alive, refusing to let Econ get upcourt and rolling to a season-high 28-point quarter in the third. Lesley Martinez was on fire with a couple of arcing threes while speedy Anzhelany Jordan had a tremendous quarter with 12 of her game-best 19 points. In the late stages, lefty Bri Martinez took over with eight points on whirring drives to the goal, and North sailed to its third win in four league outings.
For the offense-starved Lady Jags, junior Alyssa Perez knocked in a pair of shots and junior Jennifer Barron came through with five points. The club also got hustling work from junior Francheska Guevara, a no-quit type who is not scared to mix it up despite being relatively tiny. But in the end, superior depth and defense proved the tonic for North, which has begun the league race in excellent fashion. Miranda Gaytan continues to provide a lift with her hard-edged defense, and threw in nine points Tuesday.
NOTES: The Review got its K’s mixed up recently, printing the incorrect name for one of North’s results. Against P-SJ-A Southwest, it was Kaitlyn Lozano we meant to credit, our bad. And against Econ, Lozano kept it up, scrapping for six boards.