Lions unconscious beyond three-point arc
ZEPHYR COVE – It was raining threes on Monday night at Whittell High School, and unfortunately for the Warriors many of the long-range shot dropped through the basket for Yerington.
Yerington splashed in 13 shots from beyond the three-point line en route to a 57-45 nonleague girls’ basketball victory, spoiling the Warriors’ season opener.
“Man, they were just knocking them down from all over the place,” said Whittell coach Tom Esposito. “You get deflated after they start banking three points in. You go, ‘Wow, what’s going on here?'”
Lyzette Aguilar poured in six trifectas and Lions’ teammate Haley Richardson drained five three-pointers as Yerington broke open a tight struggle with the Warriors. Aguilar’s only baskets were three-pointers as she scored a game-high 18 points. Richardson did make a conventional basket and finished with 17 points for the Lions.
Yerington only made eight two-point baskets, but their marksmanship from outside didn’t bring the Warriors out of a 2-3 zone until late in the game.
“We need to work on our man-to-man defense,” Esposito said. “We have nine players, so that’s why we sit back in a zone, just because we try to keep some energy for the fourth quarter.”
Even though the Lions buried four shots from three-point land in the first period, the quarter ended with Whittell in front 17-14. With Gabriella Tracy feeding the post, Isabel Concha-Foley scored seven points in the opening eight minutes.
Whittell was unable to keep up the same scoring pace in the second period as Yerington came back to take a 25-24 halftime lead.
The Warriors stayed close to Yerington through three quarters, even though Concha-Foley incurred some foul trouble. The Lions took a 34-32 edge into the final quarter and then put away the Warriors by bombing in five more three-point shots, including one off the backboard.
“The only reason they could beat us is because they can shoot threes,” said Whittell sophomore Nina Jimenez. “That’s what they have to do because they don’t have posts, and we definitely have a stronger post offense than they do.
“For a first game to play them like we did, that was impressive.”
Concha-Foley, who was able to avoid being disqualified on fouls, had 17 points and 18 rebounds. Tracy contributed eight points and seven boards, while freshman Emily Harris debuted with seven points and Jimenez delivered six points.
“(Emily) took her nervous energy and turned it into positive, aggressive energy, and that’s what gave her the strength to play how she needed to play,” said Jimenez, who played a similar role for the Warriors a year ago.
Whittell (0-1) will travel to Smith Valley on Tuesday for a nonleague game.
“Where we are now to where we were last year is a huge difference,” Jimenez said. “It’s amazing what a year can do to a team.”
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