Added Wildcat coach Mike Pacheco, "We played them in the Montgomery tournament (Brawley won 51-28) and in this game we wanted to put a lot of pressure on their guards. We wanted to get them out of their offense as quickly as possible because they can be a tough team if you let them get the ball in the post."
The Vikings (6-10) went ahead 3-0 on a free throw by Christina Ruiz and a bucket by Claudia Lopez. LeBaron started the Wildcats' 18-0 run with 3:33 remaining in the first quarter and would score the last two points of the burst with less than two minutes gone by in the second stanza. Brawley freshman Reggie Horta added eight of her 14 points in the run, making the score 18-3. A bucket by Regan Rothfleisch broke the string, but the Wildcats answered with a 15-7 burst to close the half.
Brawley was aided mostly by its dominant work on the boards. The Wildcats collected 26 rebounds to the Vikings' nine in the first half, but the most important stat within the stat was 15 of Brawley's rebounds were on the offensive end.
"We talked about second shots the whole ball game," said Holtville coach Jim Sturgeon. "We just couldn't keep them off the boards and (Horta) really surprised us tonight with her shooting. We played a great game recently against Coronado and we came back and played like this."
The Wildcats outscored Holtville 33-13 in the final two quarters, leading 52-18 going into the final eight minutes, and again ruled the boards with a 20-10 advantage.
Ten of Brawley's 11 players scored against a porous Vikings' defense. Brooke Pace helped keep the Wildcats moving the entire game by getting three steals, dishing six assists and grabbing six rebounds to go with her seven points.
"We try to spread it out and get everyone the ball," LeBaron said. "Usually we like to pound it inside, but with the box-and-one defense Holtville was playing it opened up the outside for us."
The defense continued to stymie the Vikings in the second half, with the majority of Holtville's shots coming off busted plays or from off-balance shooters. Rothfleisch, Mykell Johnston and Elizabeth Robinson all had four points to lead the Vikings.
Brawley remains at home for its next game against Kofa High of Yuma at 7 p.m. Thursday while Holtville will play at Calexico at the same time Friday.
Calexico 39, Imperial 28
CALEXICO — The Calexico girls basketball team used a 25-16 second-half run to pull away from Imperial to win 39-28 Tuesday.
Lizeth Lopez led Calexico (8-6) with 10 points, Christina Ramirez had eight and Krystal Alvarado had six. Alexa Olstowski led the Tigers (7-8) with eight points and Rhea Deal had eight rebounds and five points.
Imperial will play against Vincent Memorial in Calexico at 7 p.m. Tuesday.