PASO ROBLES — Wednesday night Paso Robles High School sent its boys varsity teams to Santa Maria while the girl's varsity teams hosted the St. Joseph Knights. The Bearcats came into the game already with a league win under their belt after defeating San Luis Obispo before the winter break.
The Bearcats are now 7-4 on the season according to Maxpreps.com and are in control of their own destiny if they keep winning league games. St.Joseph entered the game with a 3-9 overall record, but as a team, they have a lot of height, which gave the Bearcats trouble early.
Paso Robles likes to score the ball inside and usually does so via a Sydney Meneses drive that ends in either an assist to a teammate or a lay-up for herself. The Bearcats also push the ball very well and because of this are able to score before the opposing team's defense have set their defense. In order for this strategy to work the defense must get stops so that the fast break can be run.
The first quarter was back and forth with both teams trading buckets. Fatima Cervantes helped keep Paso in the game in the first with numerous offensive rebounds and putbacks.
“I am really short so it is really hard sometimes to get those rebounds,” Cervantes said. “But I get used to when the shots are long — that means that they are going to go long — so I don't really go very deep which makes me get those rebounds and I have just been practicing my shot a lot because I want to get minutes.”
The largest lead held by either team was only three points and the end of the quarter the Bearcats trailed by one 14-15. The Knights started the second quarter on a 6-0 run that forced Head Coach Lonzo Davis to call a timeout. After the timeout, Paso ended the half on a 12-2 run to take a 28-23 lead into the locker room.
In an attempt to change the flow of the game, St. Joseph came out in the third quarter running a full court press but the Bearcat girls handled it with great composure and forced the Knights out of it quickly.
“I think we just had better time management this time,” Meneses said of their composure late in the game. “We went over it in practice, like in-game situations, and we dealt with it a lot easier. We did not stress out.”
Paso minimized their mistakes and capitalized on the ones the Knights made. Anytime the Bearcats needed a score to stop the St. Joseph momentum they would call for the high pick-and-roll between Buchanan and Meneses.
“We don’t really work on it, it more of comes with the flow of the game but
Paso eventually stretched it out to a 10-point lead with around four minutes left and won the game 55-43. The Bearcats will play again at home on Monday when they host Pioneer Valley.