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AOW: Antunez knocks off opposition from outside

January 16, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Looking at the Southwest High School girls basketball team's 5-14 overall record you might not notice there is a diamond in the rough.

You wouldn't have to look hard to find that diamond. All you'd have to do is watch an Eagle game and it would be apparent Ericka Antunez is the bright spot for Southwest.

The 5-foot-6 16-year-old junior has become Southwest's outside scoring threat.

In the Eagles' 52-27 win over Palo Verde on Friday, Antunez finished with a game-high 20 points to help her team record its fifth victory.

"We had been practicing really hard all week getting ready for that game, so we went into it with a lot of confidence," Antunez said. "We started strong and were doing things like rebounding and passing."


The main difference, though, was the team's scoring and Antunez is the team's leading scorer.

In some situations teams would rather a player pass first and shoot second, but it's the reverse for Antunez. Not only does she get the green light from her coach, Ruben Valenzuela, but she gets it from her teammates.

"They always say that if I have an open shot, shoot it. And that's what I do," Antunez said. "When I go out there I try to score."

Valenzuela said Antunez's scoring has been a big lift for the offense, adding he thinks she is one of the best outside shooters in the Imperial Valley.

Her shooting is something Antunez has worked hard to improve.

Valenzuela said she is typically the first one to arrive for practice and generally the last to leave.

He added not only has Antunez improved her shooting, her devotion to the sport has become an example for the team.

Valenzuela said Antunez's shooting may help the Eagles to an Imperial Valley League title.

When asked if she feels any pressure, Antunez said, "There's no pressure. I just go out there with confidence in myself when I play. It's not like it's just me out there. We're all doing this as a team."

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