East County Sports

Patriots dig deep, rally past Hillers




EastCountySports staff report


EL CAJON – The Christian High girls varsity basketball team found their gut-check moment on Wednesday night.

The Lady Patriots rallied from a 33-17 halftime deficit to defeat the visiting Grossmont Foothillers, 56-53, on Wednesday at Ryan Athletic Center.

The Foothillers’ Alyssa Chargualaf hit a three-pointer at the first-half buzzer to send Christian High into the locker room to consider the predicament.

Sure, the game was expected to be closely rated coming in, but the Christian High team was nearly doubled up by its comparable opponent in just 16 minutes of action.

The win ended a three (and a half?) game losing streak.

“I told them that we were going to have to play one possession at a time and get it down to 10 (points) going into the fourth and they did that,” said Christian High assistant coach DiArra Carrington, who was the acting head coach in Wednesday night’s contest. “I mainly challenged the girls to take pride in themselves and they bought into it.”

Senior Kristin Williams returned to the starting lineup following an injury and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots come from well behind to grab the win.

“In the locker room, we were told that how we were playing was inexcusable because we had a game plan and we hadn’t followed it,” Williams said. “We locked up on defense and got steals and stops. It was a completely different team in the second half. We had more hustle.”

Williams finished with a team-high 21 points. She also had three steals in the contest.

“Our defense created the offense in the second half,” Williams said.

Tiffany Bickford got the Patriots heating up in the third quarter with a pair of three-pointers in the quarter.

Bickford scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and had four rebounds and three blocked shots for the game.

“I didn’t shoot well in the first half but I was able to put that behind me and was able to go out there and knock down all my shots,” Bickford said. “Since my offense was off, I tried to make up for it on defense and that worked for me. I was also able to get more rebounds and blocks than usual.”

Jaya Little had a three-pointer in the fourth quarter, as well, that seemed to be the final ignition on the rally.

“Jaya and I were able to take advantage of the opportunity of not being as heavily guarded as Kristin,” Bickford added. “We were able to take advantage and made them pay.”

Little ended with 13 points for the Patriots.

“It was honestly annoying knowing we were losing by 20 because we are such a talented team and we weren’t showing that,” Little said. “There’s a friendly competition with Grossmont because we either played club with some of them or we are friends with the others. The competition got us going, too.

Alyssa Speers had a three-pointer in the second quarter and had nine points in the game.

Senior Serene Weckback had five rebounds and four blocked shots for the Lady Pats.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the executive, the energy on the bench, and the attention to detail,” said Carrington, the oldest daughter of head coach Vickie Carrington, who had to miss the game. “We have been short-handed the last couple of weeks on the court but will be a much different team as we get healthy.”

Chargualaf finished with a team-high 15 points for the Lady Hillers.

Shyann Van Kirk added 12 points for Grossmont.

Ariy’ana Duke finished with 11 points for the Foothillers

Daneca Perez contributed 10 points.

Grossmont’s Domineece Silvels added eight points, with six of them coming in the second quarter where the Foothillers outscored the Pats, 21-8, as Silvels, Perez, and Chargualaf combined for 19 points in the quarter.

Christian High will play in a crazy stretch of games with five contests over the next six days.




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