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Boop's crew falls short in playoffs

February 25, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

CALIPATRIA — The Calipatria High School girls basketball team's season ended with a 54-42 loss to Francis Parker High in the first round of the San Diego Section Division V playoffs here Friday.

The outcome could have been closer, but an overly aggressive Hornet squad continued to foul down the stretch, allowing the Lancers to stretch the deficit at the charity stripe.

If one statistic decided the contest for Francis Parker it may have been its performance at the free-throw line. The Lancers shot 81 percent from the line, nailing 22 of 27 shots. In the first half they were nine for 10.

"Fouls just killed us tonight. When we foul them as many times as we did and they make their shots, that's what wins ball games," said Calipatria coach Les Boop. "You look at it and they hit 22 of their 27 shots. So that's one of the things that did it."

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What also hurt Boop's crew was the first four minutes of the game. Utilizing a full-court press, the Lancers capitalized on Hornet turnovers and jumped to a 13-2 lead and never relinquished the lead.

Calipatria did make a run in the second half and got within one point, but more fouls gave the Lancers four easy points.

Along with foul trouble, Boop pointed to the first-quarter burst by Francis Parker as being a huge obstacle for his squad to overcome.

"From the minute we got in the hole with that little run they had … I just think we dug ourselves too deep," said Boop. "We just got off to a slow start, but then again, that's the way we've played all year."

The Hornets only scored six points in the first quarter and 14 in the first half, with Cinthia Cuevas accounting for six. And a 19-point Lancer first quarter led to one of Calipatria's worst defensive first halves of the year, giving up 26 points. Francis Parker's Linda Pace led her team's offense, matching the Hornets entire first-half output with 14 points.

With a 12-point lead at the half, everything seemed to be going the Lancers way. But Calipatria entered the third quarter with a bit more pop. Shots started falling and the defense stayed aggressive but didn't commit as many fouls.

Sophia Perez scored seven of her 13 points as the Hornets outscored Francis Parker 17-12 in the third.

"In that third quarter we just let down. I think our girls may have been a little winded after that first half," said Lancer coach Stasia Place. "A big thing they (Calipatria) had going for them was their crowd. They got real loud and I think they fed off that."

With 6 minutes, 11 seconds to play in the game Cuevas nailed a three-pointer to cut the deficit to one. Francis Parker answered with six consecutive points and closed the game with a 9-3 burst.

Said Boop: "We have a very young team, and I think at times they just don't focus. A lot of the time people around here think a league title is the ultimate, when they should be looking at getting to the CIF finals.

"I really believe that if we played as well as we played during the year, we're as good as any of the other teams in this thing."

The Hornets finished the year as co-Desert League champions with a 5-1 league mark and 17-8 overall record.

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