San Benito survives scare

San Benito's Vanessa Farias drives past Chelsea Hill of Gilroy during Saturday's win over the Mustangs.

Lady ‘Balers mount fourth-quarter comeback, beat Gilroy

It may have been a sleepy afternoon game at first, but the San Benito girls basketball team made just enough noise against Gilroy Saturday in a match that pitted the two hottest teams in the Tri-County Athletic League.

The Lady ‘Balers, riding an eight-game winning streak into the contest, overcame a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit en route to a 40-34 victory against the Mustangs at Mattson Gym in Hollister.

The triumph keeps San Benito’s perfect season intact, and snapped Gilroy’s four-game winning streak in the process.

“We had to come together as a team,” said Haybaler Bri Romero of the fourth-quarter comeback.

After the Lady ‘Balers cruised to a 61-41 win over the Mustangs on Jan. 11, Gilroy, which outscored San Benito 18-3 in the third quarter, nearly pulled off what no other TCAL team has been able to accomplish this season.

“I think we were more prepared,” said Gilroy assistant coach Laura Hennessee when comparing her team Saturday to the previous contest on Jan. 11. “We had seen them already … We’ve had more experience in the season and (gained) a lot of confidence.

“[San Benito] really wanted it … I think their fight really pulled through in the end.”

As both squads used an array of different defensive looks, it was the Mustangs which carried a 32-25 lead into the final period.

But after a seemingly dominant third-quarter performance by the Mustangs, and a complete momentum shift in favor of Gilroy, the Lady ‘Balers forced eight turnovers and outscored their league rival by a 15-2 margin in the final quarter.

“I think it showed a lot of character that we found a way to win,” San Benito coach David Kaplansky said. “I challenged them to stretch the game out … by taking advantage of the whole court and of each possession.

“In the fourth quarter, the kids played hard.”

San Benito didn’t make it easy on themselves, however, shooting 2 of 9 from the free-throw line in the final stanza, 4 of 14 for the game.

But after Lauren Ademek’s bank shot off the glass supplied the 35-34 go-ahead basket, Vanessa Farias nailed a 3-pointer some 30 seconds later and supplied enough of a cushion for the Hollister squad.

Farias finished with a game-high 14 points.

“We knew coming in they were going to play a lot harder than last time,” said Romero, who contributed four of her six points in the fourth period. “They wanted this game, but we had to prove that we wanted it more.”

‘Baler Elena Fata had 10 points for San Benito, which improves to 18-4 overall, 9-0 in the TCAL.

Gilroy’s Angela Silveira had a team-high nine points, while Lindsey Foster added eight.

The Mustangs are now 9-11 overall, 4-4 in league, and are rooted in a battle for third place with Notre Dame and Alisal.

“We’re just clicking a lot more,” said Silveira when comparing the Mustangs to earlier this season. “We have a lot more heart (now) and we really wanted to win this game … They just blew us out (last time). We were ready for this one. It just didn’t go our way.”

The Mustangs will host North Salinas Tuesday at 7 p.m. San Benito will travel to Salinas to take on Everett Alvarez Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Note: San Benito shot 27 percent (16 of 59) from the field … Gilroy was 20 percent (11 of 55) in field goals, 48 percent (12 of 25) from the line … The Mustangs had 22 turnovers. San Benito had 19.

Team 1 2 3 4 F

GIL 7 7 18 2 34

SB 9 13 3 15 40

GIL (34) – Silveira 4-17 1-2 9, Wilkins 0-11 7-10 7, Foster 4-9 0-2 8, Mah 1-4 2-5 4, Hill 2-8 2-5 6.

Three-point goals: None.

SB (40) – Aguilera 2-4 1-2 5, Ademek 1-3 0-0 2, Farias 5-21 2-5 14, Fata 4-15 0-0 10, Halstead 1-1 0-0 2, Romero 3-8 0-2 6, Russell 0-4 1-5 1.

Three-point goals: Farias 2, Fata 2.

JV Note:

The San Benito junior varsity team fell in overtime 51-43 to Gilroy Saturday at Mattson Gym in Hollister.

Despite trailing 20-10 at halftime, the Mustangs mounted a comeback in the later quarters, and outscored San Benito 12-4 in the extra period.

“Just the scoring kind of tells the story. It was a very competitive game,” coach Karen Fortino said. “They missed a lot of free throws, giving us a lot of opportunities, but we just ran out of air by the end of the game.”

Cassie Pate had a team-high 10 points for San Benito, while Kim Warner added eight and Arielle Rianda had seven. Danielle Acosta and Melisah Cortez each supplied six points for the Lady ‘Balers.

San Benito will play Tuesday at Everett Alvarez. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.

Team 1 2 3 4 OT F

SB 10 10 8 11 4 43

GIL 3 7 12 17 12 51

Frosh Note:

Erin Glasspool scored 28 points to lead the San Benito freshmen girls basketball team past Gilroy 56-47 Saturday at Mattson Gym in Hollister.

The Lady ‘Balers and the Mustangs now own matching 8-1 league records. San Benito is 21-2 overall, with both losses coming to Gilroy.

“This was big for us,” coach Tom Dean said. “I told them, if you shoot 35 percent or better, have less than 15 turnovers and less than 15 fouls, you’ll win this game.”

With 46 percent shooting, 12 turnovers and 14 fouls, San Benito did just that.

Glasspool was 3 of 4 from behind the arc, 6 of 10 from the field and 7 of 9 from the line. Jessica Vest had 10 points, four assists and four steals.

San Benito will play at Everett Alvarez Tuesday. Tip-off is at 4 p.m.

Team 1 2 3 4 F

SB 11 15 17 14 56

GIL 16 9 10 12 47

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