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Bulldogs survive scare from alumni

January 04, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

CALEXICO — If there was one thing the Calexico High girls basketball team's coaching staff wanted its players to get from its game against the school's alumni, it was experience.

The Calexico coaches wanted their players to gain much-needed experience playing against wily veterans who know how to win on the high school level.

Experience is exactly what the players got here Thursday.

When most high school teams play against their alumni, the score usually reflects just how old the opposition is as the high-schoolers dominate. But Thursday, the Bulldog alumni nearly pulled off an upset before falling 53-51.


"I think we did underestimate them a little. I think we just figured we'd beat them by a lot more than what we did," said current player Kimberly Carrillo, who finished with a team-high 11 points. "The coaches talked about getting us some experience and I think we did. I think one of the things we learned was to not underestimate anyone.

"I just have to give a lot of props to the alumni. They played a really good game," Carrillo said.

Midway through the first quarter it seemed as if the Bulldogs would romp as they held a 7-0 lead.

But then 1993 graduate Nancy Pinzon took the floor and turned the game around for the alumni. The College of the Desert women's soccer coach, former Mexican national team soccer player and college basketball referee was virtually all over the court and helped keep the game close.

The 27-year-old finished with a game-high 13 points and seven steals, five rebounds and five assists.

"Of course they underestimated us. It's the middle of the season for them and I'm sure they feel they should've beat us by more," said Pinzon. "We came in and we expected to win and we almost had it. We missed some easy shots that we should've had and I think the refs kind of messed it up for us, too. But overall it was a good game.

"I think the most important thing for us was that we all had a good time. It was good seeing old friends and playing with them again," said Pinzon. "This is something that I wish they'd have every year, not just once every few years."

Yudri Palacio added eight points for the alumni.

Lupe Escobar chipped in 10 points for Calexico followed by Carla Chavez with eight and Karla Salazar with seven.

Said Bulldog coach Alberto Gonzalez: "I think our girls started off a little scared and nervous because they were going against players with a lot of experience. But that's what we wanted to get from this game, to get our girls more experience. And I think they got it tonight."

Calexico will next play at Brawley at 7 p.m. Jan. 11.

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