For a period of stretches, the

Lady Balers,

as they were introduced by public address announcer and
assistant coach Clayton Lee, played pretty darn well Monday night
against Carmel at Mattson Gym. There were also signs of
early-season inconsistency, which can well be pardoned.
For a period of stretches, the “Lady Balers,” as they were introduced by public address announcer and assistant coach Clayton Lee, played pretty darn well Monday night against Carmel at Mattson Gym. There were also signs of early-season inconsistency, which can well be pardoned.

Fact was, though, the Hollister High girls basketball team came at the Padres every which way, which was good enough to roll to a 60-32 victory. In addition, it was a nice tune-up before Wednesday’s opening game at the Mount Pleasant Tournament vs. Santa Teresa. Tipoff is 5 p.m.

The Balers (2-1) won this game largely due to their superiority in height in the frontline. The Padres (0-2), who played without their only inside presence – 5-10 Jamie Darley, who was on vacation – had no one to stop the likes of 6-1 Sarah Groman and 5-11 Naomi Ruiz.

“We knew we were coming in to play a top-ranked team,” said Padres coach John Burke of the Balers. “They shot the ball well. They got on the cold side in the first half and we were able to stay in it. But, the second half, they came through with their shooting and opened the game up.”

Groman chipped in three quick inside buckets as the Lady Balers jumped to an 8-1 lead. However, that’s where it stood for awhile until Ruiz hit back-to-back layins with a couple of minutes left in the first period. Gina Caianiello, who had a game-high 14 points, knocked down a trey for a 15-5 Baler lead. The Padres best player, guard Tyler Moran, had two quick steals for hoops to close the gap to 15-9 after the first eight minutes were in the books.

The Balers Desina Gonzales hit a baseline jumper out of an inbound play, then Groman followed with a turnaround hoop for 21-13. Caianiello executed a nice move after receiving a pass on the weakside for one bucket, then stole the ball and scored for 25-15 Balers at the half.

Caianiello led the third quarter jailbreak, scoring seven of the Balers 23 points, which helped break the game open. Ruiz added five of her nine points, while Sara Rocha donated four, sophomore guard Trisha Lee three and Jennifer Tremblay and Groman each had two points to round out the Balers’ scoring.

Not coincidentally, the Baler defense forced seven turnovers in that third period and 21 for the game. In turn, Hollister did not turn the ball over one time in that third frame.

“We pounded the inside good and got the outside shots,” said Ruiz. “Everyone got to play. We did real well.”

“The first quarter we came out (strong),” said Baler head coach Richard Silva. “We went through the motion of being happy because we were up. You can’t do that. You have to keep playing continuous basketball, continue strong. We settled down after awhile.”

Silva used the game as a vehicle to get ready for the Saints of Santa Teresa.

“We wanted to throw out a lot of different looks because of our tournament coming up,” said Silva. “We ran the fullcourt man-to-man. We ran a 2-1-2 and a halfcourt 2-2-1. We got everybody involved today. Our role players did a good job out there. We needed to put the lights out in the third quarter and we did.”

Caianiello, for her part, won over a fan in Moran.

“She can really shoot,” said Moran of Caianiello.

“I wasn’t really feeling my shot at first, but when I keep shooting I get the feel for it,” said Caianiello, a three-year starter. “We still have to improve because we’re going to face some harder teams.”

Junior varsity: The Baler JVs won 60-21 to go to 3-0. Jamie Hall had 12 points for high-point, while Megan Smith had nine points. Jamie Flores and Denise Simens each had eight.

The Baler freshmen did not play, but are 3-1 on the year.

Baler bits: Wednesday’s slate at Mt. Pleasant is as follows: Independence-Wilcox (3:30 p.m.); Balers-Saints (5 p.m.); Santa Clara-Del Mar (6:30 p.m.); James Lick-Mt. Pleasant (8 p.m.). Lose two and barbecue. The championship game is Friday at 7 p.m., with third place at 5:30 p.m. and consolation at 4 p.m. – The Balers turned the ball over nine times in the last period, 16 for the game. The Padres pressed full court in the final period. – Each team took just two three-point shots, with Caianiello hitting both of her tries. None connected for the Padres. – Hollister converted a basket on four of five inbound plays, a hefty average. – Someone parked in the parking lot had their car blocked by another car, a very frustrating feeling (and you know who you are).

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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