CALEXICO — A perfect regular season for the Vincent Memorial girls’ basketball squad seems all but assured at this point.
On Tuesday the Scots annihilated the West Shores Wildcats 78-17 to round their record up to 20-0 on the year.
The outcome was more or less a foregone conclusion given the 62-24 beating the Scots had previously administered to the Wildcats back on Jan. 17 in Salton City, but the extent of Vincent’s dominance on Tuesday was still striking.
The Scots shot 52 percent from the field, tallied 32 steals against just eight turnovers and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds.
Star guard Alexandria Swift flirted with a triple-double, logging 25 points (on 10-of-13 shooting), nine assists and seven steals. Kamila Jaime had 17, four assists and five steals. Delta Nelson and Bella Gonzales tied for the team lead in rebounds with seven, chipping in with eight and five points respectively.
Vincent has just three games left on the schedule, all against Manzanita League foes they’ve already thrashed. The Scots play at Borrego Springs on Friday.
Despite their long string of crushing triumphs, and despite being the last remaining undefeated team in the San Diego Section, the Scots’ are currently power-ranked second in CIF-SDS Division V for quality of competition reasons.
Ranked ahead of them are the Cardinals of Hoover High — a more-than-formidable opponent with a 21-3 record and a school enrollment close to 3,000 — making Vincent something less than a shoo-in for postseason glory when the time comes.
Carrasco goes for 42 in Lady Tigers’ win over Calexico
CALEXICO — Powered by an incandescent Monique Carrasco and her lava-hot 42 points, the Imperial girls’ basketball team went out and gave the Calexico Bulldogs a wallop in a 76-46 win on Tuesday, as — for the fifth straight year — the Tigers turned a battle between area league leaders into a boat race.
While last year’s game was all about the Tigers’ suffocating defense (Calexico scored six points in the first half of a 56-20 loss), this year’s game was all about their offensive firepower, concentrated into the person of Carrasco who was unconscious from deep, canning 10-of-18 threes — sometimes operating off the dribble and sometimes getting a helping hand from backcourt-mate Malena Ponchione, who had 11 assists (and seven rebounds).
Frosh forward Sierra Morris was also active, putting up an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double as the Tigers scored and scored and scored their way to a 30-point win despite giving up the most points they have since a Dec. 19 loss to La Costa Canyon.
Speaking technically, Imperial and Calexico are both substantial players in the local girls’ hoops scene.
The Bulldogs have won the past four Imperial Valley League titles and are in line to make it five in a row this year. The Tigers, of course, have won the last 11 Desert League titles and seem a lock to make it an even dozen.
But despite all that, Calexico hasn’t even managed to keep the Tigers within 15 points since 2016.
Now 18-7 (3-0 in the Desert League) and on a 13-game winning streak, Imperial’s next outing will be on Friday against the struggling Calipatria Hornets (4-18, 0-3 Desert) who haven’t won (or scored 20 points in a game) since Dec. 5.
The Bulldogs (14-8, 3-0 IVL), meanwhile, will have to dust themselves off once again and get back to the business of winning the IVL if they can. They’re playing at Central (3-21, 0-3 IVL) on Friday.
Holtville girls cruise past Central
HOLTVILLE — Regaining the saddle after a disappointing loss at the hands of Imperial last Friday, the Holtville girls’ basketball team charged back into the winner’s column on Tuesday, using a balanced team effort to top the Central Union Spartans 51-27 here.
The opposite-ends-of-the spectrum, senior-freshman guard duo of Amanda Angulo and Kamryn Walker each scored 13 points to lead the team. Junior center Carolina Valdes was next-highest with nine. Other than that it was catch-as-catch-can points-wise.
Defensively the Vikings did a good job of limiting Central opportunities for as long as they cared to, allowing just 3.7 points per quarter before throttling back in the fourth.
Walker keyed the perimeter D with eight steals while Valdes kept order down low with three blocks.
Leading the Vikings on the boards was Litzy Velarde, who had 10 rebounds.
The win improves Holtville’s overall record to 18-6 (they remain 2-1 in the Desert League. Central falls to 3-21 (0-3 IVL) with the loss.
Both teams play again on Friday, with the Vikings hosting Palo Verde (3-17, 1-2 Desert) and Central hosting Calexico (14-8, 3-0 IVL).
Glass-crashing Brawley boys best Palo Verde
BLYTHE — Aided by a monstrous effort on the boards, keyed by junior forward Rayvon Johnson, the Brawley Wildcats slugged out a 69-49 win over the Palo Verde Yellowjackets on Tuesday to improve to 19-6 this season.
There wasn’t a carom the Wildcats couldn’t snare, as they stacked their way to 52 rebounds on the night, Johnson being responsible for 21 of them all by his lonesome.
Despite all his extra touches, Johnson wasn’t able to crack double-digits in scoring however. He finished with nine points (while Brawley’s second-leading rebounder, Matt Ortiz, had eight.
Pacing Brawley on offense was JJ Fernandez, who had 15 points (and five boards of his own), while Oscar Gonzalez and Charles Smith each had 13.
Back in the thick of the Imperial Valley League race following their win over Central Jan. 31 and Calexico’s simultaneous loss to Southwest, the Wildcats will look to advance their case with a second win over the Eagles (8-15, 1-2 IVL) when the two teams play on Friday in El Centro.
Brawley girls (10-15, 1-2 IVL) def. Palo Verde (3-17, 1-2 Desert), 63-41
Calexico boys (20-3, 2-1 IVL) def. Imperial (4-17, 0-3 Desert), 64-40
Calipatria boys (15-9, 3-0 Desert) def. Southwest (8-15, 1-2 IVL), 49-48
Central boys (13-12, 1-2 IVL) def. Holtville (11-8, 1-2 Desert), 67-53
Southwest girls (16-9, 2-1 IVL) def. Calipatria (4-18, 0-3 Desert), 23-11
Vincent Memorial boys (10-8, 7-0 Manzanita) def. West Shores (9-8, 4-3 Manzanita), 65-61
Holtville girls edge Southwest
HOLTVILLE — A brace by junior striker Amanda Strahm and stingy defense helped the Holtville Lady Vikings to a 2-1 home win over the Southwest Eagles on Tuesday.
Beating the Eagles wasn’t something the Vikings could manage between 2014 and 2018, but they pulled it off once last year and seem to have developed a taste for it — at least at home, anyway.
Strahm struck once in each half, with assists coming from Giselle Gasca and Amelie Strahm.
The Vikings did a good job of denying Southwest clean looks in this one. Goalie Annie Britschgi was seriously tried just five times all game, with the Eagles lone goal coming in the first half.
The win gives the Vikings an overall record of 9-9-1 and a 4-5-2 mark in Imperial Valley League play, where there seems to be little separation between teams outside of the divide between standings-topper Central and everyone else.
To wit, Southwest’s record post-loss is 7-8-3 (4-4-2 IVL).
Both teams play again on Friday. The Eagles host Palo Verde and the Vikings travel to face the Calexico Bulldogs.
Calexico boys (12-7-4, 7-1-2 IVL) def. Imperial (9-10-1, 3-5-1 IVL), 4-1
Calexico girls (7-8-5, 4-4-2 IVL) tie Imperial (10-7-5, 4-1-4 IVL), 0-0
Central boys (11-7-3, 7-1-1 IVL) def. Palo Verde (4-16, 1-8 IVL), 3-0
Central girls (10-6-2, 8-0-1 IVL) def. Palo Verde (4-14, 0-9 IVL), 6-0
Southwest boys (7-8-8, 5-2-3 IVL) def. Holtville (5-10-4, 2-8 IVL), 3-0
—Aaron Bodus, email@example.com