The first half belonged to Kayla Wilson, who pumped in 13 points in the first half, and in the second half it was all Karen Orzoco, who poured in 16 in the third quarter to finish with 25 overall.
Together the two La Quinta High School juniors were double trouble for Indio all night as the Blackhawks’ girls’ basketball team ran away with a 68-53 victory Wednesday.
“That’s how we roll,” said Wilson, who helped La Quinta snap Indio’s 37-game Desert Valley League win streak. “It’s not just one, anyone can do it. We knew it was Indio and we came to fight. Everybody was on edge because they are a good team. It feels great because it’s been a long time.”
More than three years to be exact. Indio’s league mark dates back to 2010, and since then, the Rajahs have won or shared three DVL titles.
La Quinta’s depth is what has paved the way in the first half of the season.
“We just pick each other up,” said Orozco, who admitted it took her a half to get going. “I got nervous when I saw my mom because I want to do good. I don’t want a lecture. After a while, I got that out of my mind.”
It was a physical game from the start with La Quinta’s Amber Godfrey (12 rebounds) batting for baskets underneath while Kelli Finan and Hayley Nuno (seven points, six steals) ran the floor with Wilson and Brianne Ulloa chipping in.
La Quinta broke out on Godfrey’s basket to make it 18-8 and held on to lead 21-14 after the first quarter.
Indio trimmed it to six points in the second quarter behind the two-way play of Jacquelynne White (17 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists) and Kelcey Beckham (14 points, seven rebounds, four steals), but the strong and deep Blackhawks’ bench proved to be too much.
La Quinta carried a 34-22 lead into the intermission, then Orozco came out swinging and hitting from all over the court.
“We talked about this since the beginning of the year, that when someone is off, someone else can pick it up,” said La Quinta coach Ty Thomas, whose team moves to 16-4 overall, 5-0 DVL. “But we have to remember that we eventually get a 25-point lead and start fouling. We can’t do that in the end. We know those are the things we have to work on, but this is a step in the right direction.”
La Quinta pushed ahead in the third, but with 6:14 remaining in the quarter, Indio’s Amina Johnson went up for a rebound and fell to the floor. After a lengthy delay, Johnson was taken by paramedics with a possible knee injury.
La Quinta didn’t falter after the break and Nuno was able to take command, turning a couple of easy baskets with her speed. La Quinta held on the rest of the way easily.
“We didn’t come out to play with the energy we needed to,” said Indio coach Martin White, whose team stands at 10-8 overall, 4-1 DVL. “It’s very rare that we get outhustled and that’s what happened early in the game. When we got it down, a couple of turnovers let it back up. We let it get out of hand early, and in the end, they played harder than we did.”