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April 1, 2023

Lady ‘Balers return to form, fly by North Monterey County

San Benito holds Condors to one point in the first quarter, zero
in the fourth in 62-20 victory at home Tuesday

Last Friday’s loss at Presentation doesn’t appear to have any lingering effects on the San Benito Lady ‘Balers.

After falling to the West Catholic Athletic League force 72-31, San Benito quickly rebounded Tuesday in an easy 62-20 rout against visiting North Monterey County at Hollister’s Mattson Gym.

Vanessa Farias led all scorers with 22 points, while post player Megan Halstead added 11. San Benito had 10 different scorers on the night.

The Lady ‘Balers defense shined in the victory as well. After allowing just a single point in the first quarter, San Benito shut the Condors out in the fourth quarter.

“You’re always gonna play better when you play up,” said San Benito head coach David Kaplansky, referring to the team’s last game at Presentation. “You’re gonna suffer from a loss, but you’re gonna learn from a loss.”

The Lady ‘Balers jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start, and held North County scoreless through the first seven minutes of regulation. With one minute left in the first quarter, the Condors sunk 1 of 2 free throws.

In the second North Country fared far better, but the Lady ‘Balers finished the quarter on a 9-0 run, including a Halstead jumper from approximately 19-feet-8-inches that rattled in before the buzzer.

“I thought tonight we did a better job with our layups and with our free-throws,” Kaplansky added.

San Benito outscored the Condors 18-0 in the fourth quarter.

San Benito improves to 3-1 on the season, while North County, which was coming off narrow 41-35 loss to Notre Dame, falls to 3-3.

The Lady ‘Balers will enter the Skyline Shootout next at Skyline High in Oakland on Friday. San Benito will take on the host school at 7:30 p.m. Skyline lost in last year’s CIF Nor-Cal state playoffs to Berkeley.

On Saturday, San Benito will battle Oakland Tech at 4:30 p.m.

“We’re playing two really tough teams,” Kaplansky said.

TEAM 1 2 3 4 F

NMC 1 9 10 0 20

SAN 10 20 14 18 62

San Benito (62) – Perreira 1 0 0 2, Glasspool 1 1 0 5, Farias 6 3 1 22, Russell 2 0 0 4, Casalegno 1 0 0 2, A. Rianda 3 0 0 6, Halstead 5 0 1 11, Ademek 2 0 0 4, Aguilera 0 0 2 2, Pate 0 0 4 4.



4:30 p.m. – St. Ignatius v. McClymonds

6:00 p.m. – Silver Creek v. Oakland Tech

7:30 p.m. – San Benito v. Skyline


4:30 p.m. – Oakland Tech v. San Benito

6:00 p.m. – McClymonds v. Northgate

7:30 p.m. – St. Ignatius v. Skyline

JV Note:

The San Benito girls junior varsity team rebounded from last week’s loss at Presentation and defeated visiting North Monterey County 80-33 Tuesday at Mattson Gym in Hollister.

Michelle Fortino led the Lady ‘Balers with 19 points in the win, while teammate Cyrena Salinas added 17. Mari Vallejo supplied 12 for San Benito.

“A really good team effort,” San Benito head coach Karen Fortino said. “The girls are working really hard.”

The victory follows last Friday’s 61-26 loss at Presentation High, the Division II and West Catholic Athletic League powerhouse.

Melisah Cortez and Kim Warner each had six points apiece for San Benito.

“We just went in and tried to be competitive,” Fortino said. “They put a lot of pressure on us. It was a good learning experience for us.”

The Lady ‘Balers will return Thursday at the Santa Cruz JV Invitational. San Benito will play Stevenson at Santa Cruz High at 3:30 p.m.

Free Lance Sports Staff
A staff member edited this provided article.

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