Los Banos High’s nonleague girls basketball loss to Madera on Tuesday gave the Tigers valuable insight at the beginning of league play.
The Coyotes showed the Tigers how to win when their leading scorer is shut down, something Los Banos has struggled with, in a 48-35 loss.
“Madera was a good example. We were doing scouting, and they have somebody just like Jacquelin (Arretche, LB’s leading scorer), and we have to shut her down so she doesn’t beat us,” Los Banos coach Danny Crosby said. “And they saw the other players stepped up and won the game. I pointed that out to them at practice yesterday. Probably if we play them again, they don’t make those shots, but you have to expect that if you shut down a player, the rest of the team will step up
“We don’t want that label on us of being a one-dimensional team.”
The Tigers held Madera’s scoring threat Bria Fernandes to 6 points, but two others – Alexandria Campbell and Sarah Nainoa – combined for 18. Los Banos’ Arretche scored 14 despite a dedicated attempt by Madera to keep her from getting the ball. Crosby said the Tigers’ supporting cast stepped up to put points on the board as well, but it wasn’t quite enough.
“This game, you could see they were stepping it up a little bit. At the West Coast Jamboree, we couldn’t buy a bucket,” Crosby said. “We’re still trying to get Nicole (Marchese)’s thumb better, but we’re playing so many games, we can’t sit her out. She’s being a trooper and getting it done, but you can see it affects her playing a little bit. We’re doing little things like having Jackie run the point and having Nena run the point so she’s not handling the ball as much.”
The Tigers opened league play on Jan. 2 with a 49-33 win over Ceres, with Arretche leading all scorers with 21 points. But they also got a bigger contribution from the post players, with Miriam Guzman scoring 8 points and Evelyn Johnson 6. Guzman scored 6 against Madera while pulling down 12 rebounds.
“It’s good to have that,” Crosby said. “If I can get them both playing at that level, we can be deadly inside and open things up for some of our other players.”
The nonleague Madera games during the league season is something Crosby said he’s going to try more of in the future, with the Sac-Joaquin Section changing its playoff format to include the top three teams in each league instead of selecting playoff teams with a power ranking.
“I really like to have a game before a tough team like Patterson or something. That really helps,” Crosby said. “I’m going to look to do that more next year. It’s almost like a scrimmage.”