‘Balers bury Acorns

It is the goal of the San Benito girls basketball team to make
everything their opposition does difficult.
It is the goal of the San Benito girls basketball team to make everything their opposition does difficult.

From a jumper in the paint to a cross-court pass, when the pressure is on, even a mundane in-bounds at midcourt is met with the same intensity of a last-second shot.

On Monday in Morgan Hill, San Benito’s goal made it a rough night for the Live Oak Acorns, who committed 37 turnovers and fell to the Lady ‘Balers 50-28 in non-league play.

San Benito’s Vanessa Farias had 14 points to lead all scorers Monday, while Elena Fata added 10 points behind a pair of treys.

Senior Katie Emick had nine points to lead the Acorns, who fell behind 10-0 to start the game after San Benito constantly changed their defense and tempo.

San Benito’s aggressive full-court press, where at times they would look to trap a Live Oak player along the sideline or in a corner, led to 11 turnovers before the Acorns managed to put any points on the board.

“I knew that with their coach and their past that that’s the kind of game they play,” Live Oak coach Jeff Perkins said. “Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet. It was a good game for us to have to deal with that. My girls played hard, but it’s always hard with that much pressure to settle and play your game.”

San Benito settled early, and routinely forced the turnover and pushed an outlet pass downcourt. Although Live Oak trailed only 10-4 after one quarter, the tempo was set from the start, and the Acorns were forced to dig themselves out of a hole for the remainder of the contest.

“It was a good defensive effort and I liked the tempo of the game,” San Benito coach David Kaplansky said. “We’re trying to emphasize ball pressure. If we can put pressure on the ball, we’re going to take advantage of it. When we get up into our defense, it’s creating a lot of problems for our opposition.”

The Lady ‘Balers did have some difficulty early in the game with lay-ups and free throws, but improved some as the game progressed. For instance, San Benito started the game 0 of 4 from the line in the first quarter, but finished 7 of 14 for the game.

“We need to make our lay-ups and our free throws,” Kaplansky stressed after the game. “We’re doing a very good job of executing our offense. Now we just need to focus on finishing.”

Kaplansky feels as the season continues, and San Benito finds themselves up against formidable opponents, they’ll need to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to them.

Said the coach, “We’re getting the ball where it needs to be, we just need to finish.”

Live Oak managed to finish strong Monday, and improved by the quarter.

Trailing 25-12 at the break, the Acorns caused 26 turnovers on San Benito, and even outscored the Lady ‘Balers in the fourth quarter 9-7.

“There were a couple of moments where I thought we were getting back into the game,” Perkins said. “I thought we finished strong, which is the important part and we learn every time out.”

Live Oak (0-2) will play at Willow Glen Wednesday, while San Benito (3-0) will play in the Bill Getris Classic starting on Thursday in Salinas. The Lady ‘Balers are scheduled to play Northgate (Walnut Creek) at 6:30 p.m., at Salinas High School.

Team 1 2 3 4 F

SB 10 15 18 7 50

LO 4 8 7 9 28

SB (50) – Aguilera 3 0 3 9, Ademek 2 0 0 4, Farias 6 0 2 14, Fata 1 2 2 10, Halstead 2 0 0 4, Romero 1 0 0 2, Russell 1 0 0 2, Soza 0 1 0 3, Zamani 1 0 0 2.

LO (28) – Guerrero 1 0 0 2, Patel 0 0 2 2, Watanabe 1 0 0 2, Armstrong 2 0 0 4, Emick 2 0 5 9, J. Turay 1 0 0 2, Mesa 2 1 0 7.

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