BARSTOW - Faby Gandarilla's fractured shins hurt.

They've been hurting for weeks and won't allow her to play a full game.

The pain wasn't so bad after beating Rio Hondo Community College.

Gandarilla helped the Barstow women's basketball team to a 76-71 comeback victory on Wednesday night at Jim Parks Gymnasium.

"After the victory of course (it felt better)," Gandarilla said. "It would have felt worse if we had lost."

Ensing made the decision to rest her freshman guard for the first half and a large portion of the second half.

"My whole thought was to keep her rested until the end of the game when we needed some of her 3s," Ensing said. "For me to play her significant minutes, it really puts pressure on the power she has to make 3s. She's an excellent shooter, but she's dealing with a very painful injury."

The Vikings' effort Wednesday marked a major turn around from Monday's loss to San Bernardino Valley College. The Vikings lost the rebounding battle Monday but beat out Rio Hondo 45-29 on the boards Wednesday.

Ensing questioned her team's enthusiasm following the loss but saw a team that played the entire game with heart against Rio Hondo (13-6; 3-1 Foothill Conference).

"We had a long chat (Tuesday)," Ensing said. "Basically we need to play with heart, we needed to stop the 3-point shot and we needed to execute our offense. We were two for three in that area."

The only area the Vikings (8-10; 3-2 Foothill Conference) didn't play up to par was defending the 3-point shot, Ensing said. Elena Agabao and Yanet Enriquez torched Barstow from beyond the arc in the first half. The duo combined went 7-for-14 on 3-pointers. Barstow adjusted their defense in the second half to shadow both players and limited them to three 3s in the final period.

Gandarilla hit her first shot with about 10 minutes remaining in the game. She hit a 3-pointer to bring the Vikings within nine points of the Roadrunners. Despite resting on the bench, Gandarilla, who finished the game with 14 points, said she felt in rhythm when she entered the game.

"I was making shots at warm up so I knew I had a little bit of stroke in me," she said.
Barstow was just beginning to chip at the Roadrunner's lead at that point. Reina Sosa hit a free throw to give Rio Hondo a 12-point lead with 11:39 remaining, the Roadrunners largest lead.

Barnes tied the score at 62 with a foul shot with less than six minutes remaining but Agabao put the Roadrunners out in front again when she hit a 3-pointer just seconds later. Barstow continued to fight back and grabbed the lead for good with 2:29 remaining.
Rio Hondo coach Kathy Pudelko credited Barstow for the win, but said her team never should have lost a 12-point lead in the second half.

"We quit playing the type of defense we can play and Barstow kept coming," Pudelko said. "They were able to control the boards and if you control the boards you win."

The Roadrunners played without injured point guard Teresa Nguyen. Nguyen would have added several baskets and helped organize Rio Hondo on the offensive end, Pudelko said.

BARSTOW (76) Williams 14, Gandarilla 14, Barnes 12, Pham 11, Bulter 11, Byrd 9, Williams 2, Johnson 2, Smith 1.
RIO HONDO (71) Agabao 24, Enriquez 12, Hood 12, Chanhsomphou 6, Ragains 5, Gutierrez 4, Sosa 4, Cortes 2, Lizaola 2.

Barstow 31 45 - 81
Rio Hondo 39 32 - 54

3-point field goals - Barstow 5 (Gandarilla 3, Byrd 1, Pham 1); Rio Hondo 11 (Agabao 8, Enriquez 2, Ragains 2). Fouled out - None.

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matthew_peters@link.freedom.com