Fresh legs? Who needs ’em? After dropping a pair of back-to-back
contests at the Bill Getris Classic two weeks ago, the San Benito
Lady ‘Balers did not want to fall into an excuse-riddled rut on
Wednesday night.
Fresh legs? Who needs ’em?

After dropping a pair of back-to-back contests at the Bill Getris Classic two weeks ago, the San Benito Lady ‘Balers did not want to fall into an excuse-riddled rut on Wednesday night.

With their run-and-gun style of play, playing two games in as many days could lead to fatigue, but no one on the squad wanted to point to that as any reason to lose a basketball game.

With Oak Grove in town, one day after Seaside was at Mattson Gym in Hollister, San Benito had a chance to prove exactly that.

Despite an up-tempo game one day previous, the Lady ‘Balers nearly ran Oak Grove out of the gym in the first quarter Wednesday, and easily defeated the visiting Eagles 62-51.

Vanessa Farias had a season-high 30 points on 13 of 16 shooting. Four players had six points on the night, including Lauren Ademek, Elena Fata, Kelsey Russell and Shireen Zamani, while San Benito improved to 7-2 overall after a first quarter that finished with a 20-9 Haybaler lead.

“I think this game was a challenge,” said Farias on playing two games in two days. “It shows that we can do it. We have it in us … I think we did what [coach David Kaplansky] wanted us to.”

It wasn’t as if San Benito played it safe, though. No, they played their usual game of transition basketball and changed looks on the defensive end just enough times to give the Eagles fits.

San Benito, which interchanged a man and a zone defense throughout the first half and a full-court press in the second, forced 30 turnovers on the night which lead to 31 points for the Lady ‘Balers.

“I wanted to come out and play hard,” Kaplansky said. “I challenged them with that. We’re going to play three to four tournament games in a row. We needed to put the Santa Teresa game behind us.”

Santa Teresa was the second opponent San Benito lost to at the Bill Getris Classic, and Kaplansky noted the importance then of playing with a rested team. He knew that with their style of play, fresh legs would obviously be better. But as he said Tuesday night after their game against Seaside, “We’ve got to be able to deal with it. We can’t make that an excuse.”

“If you want it, you’re going to go out and get it,” Farias said. “We want to be a good team. In tournaments, you’re gonna have to play games back-to-back, so it was an important win for us.”

San Benito’s zone defense in the first quarter sparked a 10-0 run at one point which opened the game up for the Lady ‘Balers after seven full minutes.

Oak Grove’s Vanessa Enriquez hit three straight treys in the second quarter to keep the game close, but San Benito entered the half with a 28-19 lead, nonetheless.

After the Eagles began the third with a 7-0 run, San Benito implemented their full-court press. Just four minutes later, San Benito took their 28-26 narrow lead and pushed it to a 46-26 blowout.

In the fourth, Oak Grove managed to slow the game down by getting to the free-throw line. Although they came within six points of San Benito late in the quarter, the end result never seemed to be in doubt.

“We were able to get everyone in tonight,” Kaplansky said. “The identity of this team is in transition.”

The Lady ‘Balers, who have yet to lose a non-tournament game, will play in the Seaside Sweet 16 Tournament next Wednesday. They’ll open the tourney with Scotts Valley (1-6). Tip-off is at 3 p.m.

Note: San Benito had 13 turnovers on the night … The Lady ‘Balers shot 29 of 60 (48 percent) from the field … Last season, Oak Grove defeated San Benito 69-68 in San Jose.

Team 1 2 3 4 F

SB 20 8 18 16 62

OG 9 10 15 17 51

SB (62) – Aguilera 1-5 0-0 2, Ademek 3-5 0-1 6, Farias 13-16 2-2 30, Fata 3-11 0-0 6, Halstead 2-3 0-2 4, Romero 1-6 0-0 2, Russell 3-5 0-0 6, Zamani 3-7 0-0 6.

Three-point goals: Farias 2.

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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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