Eden MacKenzie scored for the Cents (19-2 overall, 3-1 in Foothill League) and Okafor for the Cowboys to close out the first with a 6-6 tie. “I think we were kind of intimidated by playing Canyon, so it was just mentally, you have to get yourself together,” Jimenez said. “I think we get so nervous that we get intimidated and we just chuck them up just because we’re scared.” Jimenez picked up the scoring in the second quarter, corralling a loose ball near the five-minute mark and scoring on a layup. Less than 30 seconds later, she intercepted an inbound pass, took a few dribbles and took it in for another layup. Canyon’s Kiki Taufaasau tied the game at 10-10, but Jimenez shot a 3-pointer to put Saugus up 14-10 with 15 seconds left in the second quarter. “She’s a senior and she’s been through this and you could just tell that she was just calm,” said Cents coach Jason Conn. “She was just, her shot tonight was just relaxed, calm, it wasn’t rushed. She said herself, everything was smooth. And it was a huge difference.”
Saugus' Monique Febles ties the game at 4-4. Two minutes left in the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/7ucylcRMXT— Haley Sawyer (@haleymsawyer) January 12, 2019
The Cowboys (11-11, 3-1) were able to take advantage of a few free throws to collect some points in the third quarter, but Saugus’ press held them to just four points excluding those scored from the charity stripe. “We’ve to score and that comes with people stepping up and getting in the gym and taking those shots and I don’t think our bigs scored enough either,” said Canyon coach Jessica Haayer. “And just wanting it. Wanting it more than me. I don’t think there’s a single person that wants it more than me and when that happens we’re going to be very good.” Jimenez nailed a jumper with two minutes left in the quarter as the Centurions were able to score 12 points in the frame. The Cowboys’ Julia Fung scored the first points of the fourth quarter with five minutes left in the stanza and Genesis Gonzalez hit a 3 to make it 32-24, but Saugus was already in comfortable distance of the win. Libbie McMahan led the Centurions with 14 points, while Jimenez followed with 10. Okafor chipped in 10 for the Cowboys and Taufaasau had seven. “It’s huge for our girls,” Conn said of the win. “It gets the monkey off our back. We know that we can beat them now and now the next thing we should be so much more relaxed.” Saugus next hosts Hart on Tuesday, while Canyon hosts Valencia. Tip-off for both games is 5 p.m.
Alexis Jimenez keeps on scoring for Saugus. Cents lead the Cowboys 28-17 with two minutes left in the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/4qiccp657W— Haley Sawyer (@haleymsawyer) January 12, 2019
Valencia 62, Golden Valley 35Mailey Ballard scored 20 points for the Vikings (9-8, 4-0) and also had four steals. Jasmine Ahllamara also had 20 points with six steals. Marissa Howell scored 11 points and Skylar Ingram had six points an 10 rebounds. Golden Valley moves to 8-11 and 0-4 and travels to West Ranch on Tuesday.
Hart 62, West Ranch 23Hart’s Emily Munoz scored 14 points and logged six steals and five rebounds. Leila Uribe had 11 points and three steals and Emma Allen had 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Hart improves to 3-14 and 2-2. West Ranch is 2-14 and 0-4.