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Photo by Chelsea Buchanan
The Lady Vikings' Karissa Hayter looks to shoot against the defense of Antelope Valley's Carina Jenkins in Wednesday's game at Barstow Community College.

Marauder gets by Lady Vikings

BARSTOW • The Barstow Community College women’s basketball team played its first home game in almost two months on Wednesday night. The Lady Vikings hung with their opponent until late in the second half, when Antelope Valley pulled away, to take a 65-56 win.

Barstow last played at home in mid-November, and spent the holiday season competing in tournaments. After going 6-9 in tourney play, they returned to Barstow looking sharper in some aspects of the game, but some areas still need some work, according to head coach Tim Woods.

“We’re not doing all the things we’re supposed to,” he said after Wednesday’s match. “In practice we can do it all day, but we don’t bring it out at game time.”

The Lady Vikings are getting in the middle of the action more, especially off the boards, as they scrapped for every rebound against the Marauder. That helped them stay even in the first half, which they led for the first few minutes.

Antelope Valley is a team that likes to shoot from the outside, and the Vikings were aware of that going in. They tried to take away the perimeter shot, and were successful through the first 20 minutes, holding the Marauder to just one trey. Barstow’s leading scorer Shawnequa Norwood got off to a fast start, netting eight points in the first, while Noella Evans hit a 3-pointer of her own.

Free throws were a big factor for the visitors, who made 14 trips to the line in the first, to two for the Vikings. Barstow trailed by three points at halftime, and would have to hold against the outside shot and limit Valley’s trips to the charity stripe in the second to have a chance at the win.

Unfortunately for the home team, the Marauder was successful at both.

“Our main focus was to take away their 3-point shot and we didn’t. That and foul shots did us in,” said coach Woods. “We also missed a good 12-14 lay-ups, and that didn’t help.”

Valley kept taking its shots from outside, and had a much better average in the second, sinking five of them. They also kept hearing the whistle and had 13 more chances at the line, converting nine of those.

The Marauder began the second strong, and rode the momentum. They started on an 8-2 run in the first three minutes to widen the lead. Barstow made one last run to again pare down the edge to four points, but Valley then pulled away for good.

“They got a double-digit lead that we cut down to 44-40, but we could never get over the hump,” said Woods. “Then we faded down the stretch.”

Ten Lady Vikings put up points, but only one, Shante Thomas, was in double figures, with 10 points. Norwood had nine, and BreAnna Fraser, eight. Valley’s Ashley Davis was the game high-scorer, with 14 points.

Up next for the Vikings is a game at College of the Desert on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Roadrunners started the season by winning three of their first four games, but are now in the midst of a 10-game losing streak. Woods still sees no reason not to take them very seriously.

“We have to put this behind us and concentrate on our next opponent. They actually have shooters, so we’re going to try to take that away,” said the coach. “It’s coming along, the team is working hard. But we have to get it together; we’re running out of games.”

The next home match is next Wednesday against Mt. San Jacinto at 5 p.m.

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