PRINCETON — Steady free throw shooting and full court defensive pressure led the Yantis Lady Owls to a 40-34 Class 1A area girls basketball win over Saint Jo here Friday night.
“I think we forced 15 to 20 turnovers from our press and we made 70 percent of our free throws,” said Tina Carrillo, Yantis Lady Owls head girls basketball coach.
The win advances the Lady Owls to the regional quarterfinals against Bellevue at a time and location to be determined. Bellevue won their area game, 56-38 over Fruitvale.
Yantis is 20-11 for the year. The Lady Owls were the undefeated district champions earning a bye into the playoffs.
“The girls are so stoked to get this win. This is farther than we went in the playoffs last year,” Carrillo said. “We are so happy to win and now we get to play in the regional quarterfinals.”
Saint Jo’s inside games allowed the squad to stay close early in game and Yantis was unable to pad their lead.
“We made defensive adjustments to stop letting them go inside to the big girl who was scoring on us,” Carrillo said. “We started fronting her and getting backside help. They still tried to force the ball inside and we intercepted the passes. She did score much in the second half.”
The Yantis attack featured five players scoring led by 15 from Josey Wetzel and 12 by Angelica Sandoval. Lillie Fernandez had 7 while Maria Garcia and Lila Hurley added 3 points each.
“The game was close most of the night, it was nip and tuck,” Carrillo said. “We had a small lead. We were able to put them away with a solid fourth quarter.”
The Lady Owls pulled the ball out and held the basketball, forcing Saint Jo to extend their defense and foul to stop the clock.
“We made most of our free throws. That really helped, they had to foul us and we knocked down the shots,” Carrillo added. “We made them put us at the foul line. During the course of the game our full court run and jump press wore them down. We were the quicker team and we got turnovers. Late in the game, you could tell we were the team in better condition. Saint Jo got tired and we took advantage of them being fatigued.”
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