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Hornets avenge loss to Tigers

February 17, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

IMPERIAL — Calipatria High's girls basketball team extracted a little revenge and improved its stature for post season play Friday with a 39-32 win over host Imperial.

"Whoever won it was going to help us in the power ratings," Calipatria coach Les Boop said.

Technically the regular season ended Thursday when Imperial tripped Calipatria 35-25. The teams split their two games during Desert League play and each finished 3-3.

"This was like the grudge match," Imperial coach Rich Ponchione said. It was also a lot more.

Boop pointed out both teams had one more contest they could play and not reach the maximum number allowed by CIF, since a team had canceled on both earlier in the year. In an attempt to help bolster their scoring in the power ratings, which determine the seeding for the San Diego Section playoffs, the teams played each other one last time.


"The Desert League never gets any respect in CIF," Boop said, so the chance to improve one's power rating with a another win was too inviting to pass up.

The non-league game Friday afforded teams another opportunity.

"It also gave me a chance to play some other girls," Ponchione said, noting he called up several players from his junior varsity squad. "It gave them some varsity game experience heading into the playoffs."

For Imperial's Tigers, the game gave them an opportunity to work on trying to stop teams inside.

After a sluggish first quarter in which they scored just two points, the Calipatria Hornets went to work down low, feeding the ball to Lilia Humble and Maria Velarde.

"When we go inside to them, we never lose," Boop said.

A couple of times, Imperial was able to stop the Hornets' inside presence. Jenny Bowlan blocked one of Velarde's shots and Melissa blocked another Hornet attempt.

For the most part though, Humble and Velarde were unstoppable. Humble finished with 10 points and Velarde had six to go along with more than 10 rebounds.

In addition to the inside threat, Calipatria's Rachel Zajdel posed a problem outside. She hit four three-pointers en route to finishing with a game-high 17 points.

Rhea Deal led Imperial with 11 points, hitting three treys of her own.

Deal tried to keep the Tigers in the game with a pair of threes in the fourth quarter. The second lifted Imperial to within six, 34-28.

After a pair of free throws by Humble, Imperial pulled to within four points with less than three minutes to play following a layup by Steph Ortega and a put-back rebound by Nancy Andrade.

That was as close as Imperial would come.

Imperial (8-12 overall) will host Marian Catholic at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the CIF San Diego Section playoffs. Calipatria (13-9 overall) will have a first-round bye and will next play at Mountain Empire at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Boys basketball

Vincent Memorial 70,

West Shores 40

WEST SHORES — The Vincent Memorial boys basketball team wrapped up the regular season with a 70-40 Citrus League victory over West Shores here Friday.

Dominic Jacobelli led Vincent Memorial with 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks followed by Matt Lankford with 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Josh Martin chipped in 12 points, 11 rebounds and three assists and Fernando Meza had 10 points and five rebounds for Vincent Memorial (4-4 CL). David Miranda added nine points, six steals and four rebounds for the Scots.

Vincent Memorial (8-13 overall) will host Calvary Christian at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the CIF San Diego Section Division V playoffs.

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