LOS BANOS Los Banos High’s girls basketball team wanted to send the message that it was still the best in town, and did so with a 41-26 home victory over Pacheco on Thursday.
With Pacheco’s box-and-one, a popular defense to run against Los Banos, holding scoring threat Jacquelin Arretche to 4 points, fellow guard Nicole Marchese stepped up to lead the Tigers with 17 points, draining five 3-pointers. The senior has suffered from a lingering thumb injury that affected her shooting and dribbling, but there was no evidence of any ailment in her shot.
“We just try and get open and just hope that other people on the team step up and start scoring the points that Jackie usually scores,” Marchese said.
Pacheco’s main scoring threat, guard Sam Rodriguez, did her damage with 22 points, but the rest of the team combined for 4 points. Rodriguez scored the same amount the last time the teams met, a 44-41 Los Banos victory earlier this season.
“To be honest with you, we wanted to beat them by 20 this time and show them that we’re still a better team,” Marchese said. “We left them confidence that we shouldn’t have. I feel that we’re a better team, and we really wanted to show them that today. Not to be rude, or anything.”
A Rodriguez layup off a steal in the second quarter closed a Los Banos lead to 12-11, but one of Marchese’s 3-pointers stretched the lead. The Tigers led 17-14 at halftime.
“We’re able to kind of focus for set periods of time and then we lose focus for set periods of time,” Pacheco coach Mike Perkins said. “So while we may be locked on to Jackie, we didn’t do a good job of identifying other people on the floor, which is the second piece of that puzzle.”