East County Sports

Late move to neutral court can’t close gap for Cougars

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com

TIERRASANTA (2-27-16) — What do Conquistadors, Cougars and Hornets have in common?  They all participated in a CIF-SDS Division III Girls Basketball game that saw Lincoln claim a decisive 65-53 victory over Steele Canyon, that was played at Serra High School on Friday (Feb. 26).

 

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Steele Canyon warms up Friday night.

Now most people will immediately ask, why was the game held at Serra and not Lincoln, especially when they are not exactly next door neighbors?  The move of 10 miles was spearheaded by the activities earlier in the day at Lincoln High.  There was a security issue at the Lincoln Park campus during lunch that saw over 20 students get into an altercation that sent five students along with one security guard to the hospital.

 

Shortly after that incident, the officials at Lincoln thought it might be in the best interest of both teams to move the game.  After calling several schools to see which gyms were available, Serra athletic director John Pisapia said that his gym was available.  Around 2:30 p.m. the decision was made to move the game to Serra.

 

The Hornets and Cougars faced each other in the first game of the season with Lincoln winning that game on the Rancho San Diego campus 40-34.  The playoff game wasn’t much different.

 

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Steele Canyon and Lincoln in a playoff game relocated to Serra High Friday night.

The Cougars came out and played well in the first quarter, but Lincoln took control of the game early.  At the end of the first quarter the “home” school, Lincoln, was up 20-15.

 

The second quarter is where the game was decided.  Several poor shot choices and bad turnovers led to a bunch of easy layups.  Those events led to a 23-5 quarter for the Hornets and a 43-20 lead at the break.

 

JULES LOIBL led the Cougars in scoring with 19 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in the third quarter.

 

MARIAH SMITH had a team-high seven rebounds during the contest.

 

Coach PETER RUIZ was completely disappointed with the season.  “(You) can’t be totally disappointed with the season we had,” the head man said.  Outside of the 2008-09 season where the Cougars had 19 wins, this was the most successful season in Rancho San Diego girls basketball history.

 

“The girls went out and played their best,” said Ruiz.  “Some of it was self-inflicting.  We hurt ourselves at points, but they kept pushing.  We tried to make some adjustments, but we couldn’t stop Jeriah Drake.”

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