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MVC defeats Watsonville to move into tie for division lead

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 30th, 2013

Monte Vista Christian's Samantha Blenderman grabs the ball after getting it from teammate Alyssa Smedlund during the first half of their game Tuesday night. (Glenn Cravens/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE – The Monte Vista Christian High girls basketball team had nearly everyone back from last year’s squad in hopes of making a run at a division championship. But for the past 21 days the Mustangs were not the top team in their division.

That distinction went to Watsonville, who grabbed first place in the Monterey Bay League’s Pacific Division back on Jan. 8 in a comeback win against the Mustangs, and did their best to keep it all to itself.

On Tuesday night, the two teams endured a third slugfest, and Monte Vista Christian came out on top, sending Watsonville to the canvas 44-36.

Both teams now share the division lead, as they each are 7-1. It will now take a slip up in the next two weeks by either team for the other to win the division championship by itself. Otherwise, the two teams will share the division crown.

Much like the previous two encounters, both teams were close early on. They went into intermission tied at 23-23, although Monte Vista Christian was fortunate it was still tied, given that Watsonville missed a breakaway layup at the buzzer.

The Mustangs came out of the break and put Watsonville in the vice, allowing the Wildcatz to make just five second-half shots.

The teams had just one shot go through in the first three minutes of the third quarter. Then, Watsonville’s Mandy Cabanlit turned the tide the Wildcatz’s way with a three from the left wing to give Watsonville a 28-25 lead with 4:42 to go in the third quarter.

That ended up being Watsonville’s last basket of the third.

Monte Vista Christian came right back and got an inside shot from Sydney Beadle to cut the spread to one. After a Watsonville miss, the Mustangs got another conversion, with Alyssa Smedlund getting the ball to Beadle, who made a turnaround shot to give the Mustangs a 29-28 lead with 3:56 to go in the third quarter.

Monte Vista Christian kept it going, as Alysa Castillo and Emma Pirtle each got a jumper to fall to boost the blue team’s lead to 33-28 at the end of the third quarter.

Watsonville finally got back on the board with a contested shot by Sonya Cervantes with 5:40 to go in the game, pulling Watsonville to 35-30.

The Mustangs didn’t budge, allowing their defense to continue to prevent Watsonville from making a run.

Watsonville fell to 13-7 overall.

Monte Vista Christian improved to 17-3.

For the complete article see the 01-31-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-31-2013 paper.

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