Defense may indeed win championships, but such a mantra doesn’t omit the necessity to knock down a few buckets en route to the promised land.
Recording a mere 10 field goals on Saturday night, the La Quinta girls’ basketball team concluded its season with a 58-33 first-round playoff loss to visiting Roosevelt High (Eastvale). Down 13-10 after a strong opening quarter, the Blackhawks trailed 34-17 after a dismal second period found them deep in the weeds at half. A 10-0 run by Roosevelt to open the third quarter put it away.
“I think we were just not on the same speed. I think half of my team was going at a certain speed, but we should have all been at 100 percent,” said La Quinta senior captain Karen Orozco, who led the Blackhawks with 11 points. “I think some of us were at 50 percent, and only three of us were at 100 percent. We didn’t give it our all.”
Coupled with poor shooting from the field, La Quinta went 11-for-30 from the free throw line and received nary a point from its bench.
“Our shots and our free three throws; we didn’t make many of our free throws tonight and we didn’t do that well with our 3-pointers,” Orozco said. “We didn’t put back our rebounds when we had to and we just didn’t stop them (Roosevelt) tonight.”
Roosevelt, the No. 10 seed in Division-I-AA, entered the playoffs as an at-large bid from the Big VIII League. Offensively, the Mustangs were led by Taylor Davis and Chiderah Uzowuru, who scored 15 points apiece.
Desert Valley League co-champions this season, the Blackhawks entered CIF as victors of five straight games and winners of 10 of their past 11 contests. La Quinta was vying to capture a playoff victory for the second year in a row.
“I think we had a good season,” Orozco added. “Compared to last year, last year we had a really, really good team. So I think this year was better for us. It was more rewarding because we had to work harder for it. Last year, we had a good team so we didn’t worry that much. But this year we worked hard for it and I think we earned what we did.”