YUCCA VALLEY — The Yucca Valley Lady Trojans varsity basketball team competed in the first round of the CIF Southern Section 2020 girls’ basketball championships Division 3A playoffs at Trojan Gym Thursday.
The Yucca girls faced off against the Temple City Rams and beat them 60-43.
“We got off to a slow start offensively but our girls had the defensive clamps on the Rams offense taking a 28-16 into the locker room at halftime,” said coach Jess Geeson in an email Thursday.
The Yucca girls did miss a few three-point attempts at the beginning of the game, causing a brief “uh-oh moment,” but as the game progressed, the Trojans settled down and got a bead on the basket, and were lethal from downtown in the second half.
The Trojans slowly and steadily widened their lead through the whole game and were ahead 13-8 at the end of the first quarter, 28-16 at halftime and 42-25 at the end of the third.
The Lady Trojans used an 11-0 third quarter run, littered with many three-point shots, to open up a 42-25 lead to start the fourth quarter and finished the game snuffing out a quick Temple City rally to close the game. The Rams were never able to put together a substantial scoring streak and the Yucca defense caused them to have long scoreless stretches.
“We thought we played pretty solid, it is always a lot of pressure for the girls when starting the playoffs, so we knew we had to play hard and eventually we would loosen up and find our rhythm. Going to play Torrance on Saturday we will have to play better than we did tonight to win. Torrance plays at a very frenetic pace and we will have to match that pace to have a chance,” said Geeson.
Junior Sara Mills led the scoring against Temple City with 19 points and four three-point baskets. Senior Coy Smith was dominating, finishing with 10 points and 18 rebounds. Freshman Malia Ulery added nine points while sophomore Chloe McNellie knocked down eight points passed out seven assists and snagged five steals. Junior Meagan Lowe came off the bench to add eight points and grab four rebounds, sophomore Maliah Rodriguez chipped in six points.
The team will travel for a playoff game against the Torrance Tartars Saturday for the second round of CIF play. Tip off is 6 p.m.