Turnovers hurt the Corcoran High School varsity girls’ basketball team during Tuesday night’s CIF Division IV state play-off game. Corcoran was the number eight seed and they hosted number nine seed Bellarmine Jefferson of Burbank.
A tough full court press forced 23 Corcoran turnovers in the first half but despite that the Lady Panthers still hung close at the half trailing 32-43. However, the second half was all Bell-Jeff as the Panthers struggled. Corcoran ended the game and their season with a 55-76 loss.
“Thirty-five turnovers—at times we passed the ball like we were playing against Orosi with no ball fakes or adjustments for the quickness of the defenders,” said Coach Doug White. “When they switched to a zone in the second half we started turning the ball over and they capitalized on every mistake.”
Scoring for the Panthers were Tabitha Torres who had 23 points and Priscilla Zepeda added 15. Others to score included Taylor Carter with six points and 10 rebounds, Marina LeFridge had four points and Cassandra Gomez added two.
Leading scorer for Bell-Jeff was freshman standout Leslie Lopez-Wood who had 24 points. “We played our best basketball in the first half of the game and proved we could play at the high level that Bell-Jeff routinely plays at.
They played the best teams in the state and barely lost to them. Our league does not prepare us for the speed and physicality of this type of game. They play this way every night. It just wore us down,” added White. “We also had a problem picking up on shooters; our girls preferred to argue about who is guarding who rather than pick up the open person.”
However, despite the loss, White was proud of his team. “All in all, I was proud of the effort. We showed that our kids are capable of playing at that high level. We made the team get out of their man to man defense when they had been successful with it against the best teams in the state,” White noted. “We were in a little too deep and were a little too thin on the bench.”