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Photo by Chelsea Buchanan
I'm open! The Lady Vikings' BreAnna Fraser (center) lets her teammates know she's ready to take possession of the ball in a recent game at Barstow Community College.

Lady Vikings take on high-flying Eagles

BARSTOW • In its latest game, the Barstow Community College women’s basketball team had a tough assignment: going up against Mt. San Jacinto, the number-three ranked team in the state.

Although they outscored the Eagles in the second half, the Lady Vikings could never make up lost ground from the first, in a 76-57 loss.

Considering the Eagles’ record - only one loss - Barstow did a good job hanging in for the entire game. San Jacinto (16-1, 3-0) got off to a quick start in the second half and built a 22-point halftime edge up to a 30-point lead, but the Lady Vikings regrouped and whittled the deficit down to 19 by the horn.

“They’re a good team, we knew that coming in,” said Vikings head coach Tim Woods. “We never gave up; we kept fighting, and had a good second half.”

The Eagles set the tone from the start, as leading scorer Tina Fantroy grabbed the opening tip and hit a perimeter shot. Woods had a game plan in mind that the Vikings went through in practice, but after San Jacinto converted on its next possession, the coach called the game’s first time-out less than a minute in.

“We weren’t executing the scouting report. We went over the game plan yesterday, and weren’t doing what we were supposed to do,” said Woods. “I just wanted to calm the team down to execute on defense.”

It was hard to keep a lid on the Eagles’ offense, but Barstow did its best to stay with the ball. The home team was trailing, 41-19, at the half, and got 11 of those points from sophomore Ashley Watkins. Watkins played well at both ends, providing tight defense, and getting the ball smoothly downcourt. She also had three steals and converted two of them into points. Watkins did well in the San Diego Mesa Tournament last month, and coach Woods was happy to see her break out.

“This is what we’ve been waiting for,” he said. “This is the kind of game we expect from her. It was good to see her have a game like that.”

Watkins tacked on 13 more points in the second half, for a game-high 24. Barstow amped up the offense in the final 20 minutes, netting 38 points to the Eagles’ 35.

“We talked at halftime about what we’d have to do to win the second half,” said Woods. “For the most part, I think we did.”

The Vikings did nicely in picking up the offense. Shawniqua Norwood, BreAnna Fraser, Chanel Green, Brittany Fraser and Ashley Segarra each got at least one field goal, after being shut out in the first half, while Karissa Hayter scored seven of her nine points.

Barstow spread out its offense, with 10 players in the scoring column. The Eagles had three, led by Fantroy and Kerah Natividad, with 19 points apiece, and 10 for Destiny Melton.

While the Vikings never got the lead, nor did they ever give up. Barstow was still giving its all right up to the end, wrangling for possession and scrapping for loose balls. Watkins at one point was lucky she didn’t dislocate her shoulder reaching around to get a grip on a contested ball and draw a jump ball.

“The girls did a real good job. I’m proud of them, they never gave up, they kept fighting,” said coach Woods. “We did a good job in the second half. Now we have to put two good halves together.”

The Vikings play their next two games on the road, at Chaffey Saturday and Victor Valley on Wednesday.

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