BARSTOW • The Barstow girls basketball team wrapped up regular season play with a loss on Thursday night.
Silverado went into the match unbeaten in the Desert Sky League. That hasn't changed, as the Hawks won by a 72-31 score.
The Division I Hawks have been a target for the Aztecs all season. On Senior Night, Barstow just turned the ball over too many times under the Hawks' pressure defense, and it can be difficult to have an answer for Silverado's imposing center Candice Agee, as well as a deep bench that scored 16 points.
"We just didn't shoot the ball when we were open, and we didn't box out," said Barstow assistant coach Marvin Ellis. "We did well rebounding and didn't run into foul trouble; we anticipated holding our own on the boards, but we didn't box out, and gave up 20 points or more off turnovers."
The Hawks began the game on a 9-0 run. The first points the Aztecs picked up came 2:27 into the first quarter, when Kaitlyn Parks went 2-for-2 from the foul line. Silverado held a 27-9 lead by the end of the first, and was up, 38-13, at halftime.
The best stretch of the game for the home team was the first minutes of the third quarter. The Aztecs came out of the break pressing, put up their shots and saw them land. By the time Silverado called a time-out with 6:10 left, Barstow had outscored its opposition by a 10-2 margin.
"We cut their lead to 17 in the third, but then started to turn the ball over again," said Ellis. "There's nothing to point to that caused it. They're a very good team."
The Hawks' two slowest quarters offensively were the second and fourth, when they scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Aztecs weren't able to capitalize, however, as they scored four points in each quarter.
Parks hit double figures, netting 12 points, while taking down eight rebounds. Ebony Smith scored 19 points for the Hawks, 11 of which came in the third, while Agee had 17 points.
Being the season's last home game it was Senior Night, and the Aztecs honored their four seniors prior to the start of the game. Bianca Goodson, Naomi Magaoay, Kadjuah Lewis and Parks were given flowers and balloons from their teammates, and some kind words from coach Ellis.
The Aztecs finish at .500, 11-11 overall, 5-5 in the DSL.
"It's tough for a Division III team to beat a DI team," said Ellis. "We played more DII schools than DIII schools this year, and only lost to one DIII team (Granite Hills) all season."
Barstow is ranked 24th in the state among DIII teams.
Now the Aztecs turn their attention to the postseason.
"We'll be practicing hard, we have a week to prepare," said coach Ellis.
As for Magaoay, she's not ready for her high school basketball career to end just yet. She's been playing for the team for four years, and would like at least a couple of more games.
"I think we're ready for the postseason. We have a strong team and we're confident," said the Aztec senior. "The last four years have been a good experience. It's taught me a lot and I've developed good skills. I've had fun playing with the girls and the bond we created."
Ellis is looking forward to what the next week brings, but at the same time is proud of what the young team accomplished this year.
"Our original goal at the start of the season was to make the playoffs, and we've done that," he said. "Hopefully we can play a few more games."