For The Signal
An indoor gym and some fierce competition is exactly what the Saugus girls basketball team needed during a Southern California heat wave. Traveling to Burroughs High in Burbank, the Centurions defeated outside-Foothill League opponent Bishop Alemany 40-21 in Summer League play.
“I’m proud of the overall effort we gave. We hustled on both ends of the court, played great defense, attacked the ball well on offense and rebounded outstanding today,” coach Jason Conn said.
Saugus brought the energy from the start, clapping into the huddle for a team cheer and some encouragement. Alemany won the tip-off by a fingertip but Saugus’ defense fought for the ball and Madison Seyforth grabbed it for the teams first possession.
With no score through three minutes, Monique Febles sunk two free throws to put the Centurions on the board. Alemany tried to match the score with a couple free throws of their own, but only one was good.
Adding two more points, a defensive rebound by Eden Mackenzie started a counterattack that ended with a layup by Seyforth. Another Centurion layup forced an Alemany timeout, and Saugus led 4-1 after seven minutes.
The timeout proved effective for Alemany, who eliminated Canyon from the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals last season, with an almost immediate three pointer once play resumed. Seyforth returned the ball for a layup soon after and Saugus stretched its lead to 8-4.
Danielle Wilkes put pressure on the Alemany defense to put up a layup of her own. Wilkes then played defense, grabbed a rebound and sent it back across the court for another Centurion offensive press. Mackenzie hit Saugus’ first 3-pointer of the game to put her team up, 17-11.
After more back-and-forth, the teams headed to halftime with Saugus leading 23-16.
The second half began with much of the same until Saugus broke it open and extended its lead by 10 points with eight minutes remaining. The Centurion defense held Alemany to just two points in the first 12 minutes of the second half.
MacKenzie scored a jumper after two offensive rebounds from teammates Seyforth and Wilkes rounded out the scoring for Saugus.
“I feel like we played as a team this game,” Seyforth said. “I think we are focusing on passing into the post more, which is something we haven’t done before. I think that if we play the way we’ve been playing, we will do really well in league. I don’t think there’s anyone that could stop us”.
Moving forward, Saugus girls basketball looks to use the summer league as a time for improvement.
“We play a lot of different teams that we don’t normally play,” Conn said. “We’re not trying to dodge anybody but play really good teams to make us better, and I think that’s what summer league is for. Play the best competition that you can and you will improve. These games only mean improvement.”