It was "a super team effort" that enabled the Vista Murrieta varsity girls basketball team to claim victory Wednesday in round two of playoffs, according to Coach Chris Jones.
The Lady Broncos started the game fast and furious and took a 20-7 lead in the first period of their CIF Southern Section Division 1A playoff game against the Lady Blackhawks.
But La Quinta soared back into the game in the second period by outscoring Vista Murrieta 20-10. At the half, the Blackhawks trailed the Broncos by three, 30-27, as Vista was out of sync in the second period and found themselves out of their usual rhythm and in foul trouble.
"We were in serious foul trouble in the first half with four starters on the bench and got some key minutes from Megan Escobar, Alexis Marshall, and Tatiana Navarro," said Coach Jones. “Brittney Reed and Serafina Maulupe carried the offensive load for us and Jaelyn Brown was her usual self, rebounding and distributing the ball despite her being in foul trouble."
The Broncos found their tempo in the second half and their punishing, physical defense wore down the Blackhawks.
Vista Murrieta outscored La Quinta 45-23 in the final two periods and ran away with the win 75-50.
Freshman Brittney Reed led the Bronco attack with 22 points and earned a “double-double” by hauling in 16-rebounds. Serafina Maulupe added 20 points for Vista Murrieta.
Yuendie Guridi came off the bench in the third period to spearhead the Bronco offensive surge. She scored nine points in two periods.
“When she entered the game halfway through the third, you could see the immediate impact that she made," Jones said. "She got a couple of steals right away, her feistiness on the perimeter defense was obvious right away, and that’s what she brings us. I am very proud of our girls coming through big on the road with the adversity."
Jaelyn Brown scored eight points while Tatiana Navarro and Leitasi Cravens both scored six apiece. Alexis Rivas scored three and Alexis Marshall sank a free throw.
The Broncos will be on the road again Saturday when they travel to Fontana to take on AB Miller High School. The Rebels are 23-4 and are coming off a big 56-47 victory over Anaheim’s Canyon High School.