East County Sports

Cougars knock off division foe Lancers

Steele Canyon's KHYLAYA BRANDY



EastCountySports.com staff report


CHULA VISTA – The Steele Canyon High girls basketball team rode a 21-16 lead into halftime and continued on for a 41-35 non-league win over Hilltop on Saturday.

More impressively for Steele Canyon is that the team was down several starters for the contest.

The Cougars are battling for a playoff spot in the San Diego Section Division 3 postseason, so the game turned out to be important for Steele Canyon.

“This game was huge because we learned how to manage the clock at the end of the game,” Steele Canyon assistant coach PAULA BOTT said. “We had the lead and we needed to make our free throws.

“Those pressure situations are hard to practice so experiencing them in a game only improves your confidence.”

KHYLAYA BRANDY led the Cougars with 18 points for the contest, including five free throws in the fourth quarter.

“Khylaya came up big today,” Steele Canyon head coach PETER RUIZ said. “She was our only starting guard to finish the game.”

Stepping forward was junior KAILEE ROCHFORD, who had seven points for Steele.

“I just stayed focused like my coaches told me to do and stayed on top of my game,” Rochford said. “I was all a team effort and doing what I love. We made it all happen together. I made sure I showed up physically and mentally.”

MAHKAYLA CLINE added six points for the Cougars.

“It was very impressive that several of our reserve girls stepped up,” Bott said. “We have three senior starters who have playoff experience so that will help. We keep improving, that’s what is important.”

The game was a roughly-played contest and both teams had a player ejected.




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