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Girls basketball: Bulldogs take pieve of IVL crown

February 14, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

It wasn't the way Central Union High girls basketball coach Lupe Ilac wanted to end her coaching career with the Spartans, but somebody has to win.

And that somebody was Calexico High, which manhandled the Spartans 65-27 to claim a share of the Imperial Valley League championship in both squad's regular season finale in El Centro on Tuesday.

What hurt Ilac's squad was the same thing that plagued it all year.

"This is a very young team with a lot of inexperience," said Ilac. "Tonight we just couldn't execute.

"Our transition defense was lax and we didn't rotate. They executed and we didn't."

Just like last week's game against Brawley, what did in the Spartans was a poor offensive performance after the first quarter.

In the second and third quarters the Bulldogs outscored Central 35-6 after Calexico held only a four-point advantage at the conclusion of one period.

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Building the huge margin allowed the Bulldogs to get more players playing time to prepare for the postseason. Leading Calexico off the bench was Crystal Alvarado with 14 points.

"It wasn't just me. I think it was an entire team effort," said Alvarado. "This was a big win for us. We knew we had to play our best if we wanted to win and get a piece of the championship and I think we did that tonight.

"We still have some things we need to work on as a team, but this win gives us some momentum for CIF."

Where Calexico separated itself from Central was on the glass. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Spartans 41-29 and 22-12 in the second and third quarters.

Leading Calexico was Mayra Carboni with nine rebounds to go with 12 points.

Through the first quarter it seemed as if the Spartans would keep the game close as Stephanie Schuler's outside game carried the offense. Of Central's 11 first-quarter points, Schuler accounted for nine, all from behind the arc.

Defensive adjustments shut down Central's offense and allowed Calexico to force more turnovers and score in transition.

Schuler did manage to slip through a few cracks in the defense, finishing with a game-high 18 points (six three-pointers).

The win secures a share of the IVL title for the Bulldogs, and depending on the outcome of Thursday's game between Brawley and Southwest, could give it the title outright.

"There was a lot of pressure on us coming into this game and we didn't want to come in overconfident," said Bulldog coach Jamie Chew. "Our whole team came together and everyone contributed for us."

Central finishes with an 0-6 mark in IVL and the Bulldogs finish 5-1. Calexico will find out its playoff fate Saturday.

Holtville 56, Imperial 29

HOLTVILLE — The Holtville High girls basketball team clinched a share of the Desert League title with a 56-29 win over Imperial here Tuesday.

Leading the Vikings (5-1 DL) were Elizabeth Robinson with 14 points and Mykell Johnston with 13. Christina Ruiz added 12 and Regan Rothfleisch chipped in eight points and eight rebounds.

Holtville will compete in the CIF San Diego Section playoffs next week.

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