SCHS Girls Basketball Rolls Win Streak to 8 with League-Opening Romp over Aliso Niguel

Zach Cavanagh


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From hot, to cold, back to blazing hot, the San Clemente girls basketball team has played this season in streaks, but the Tritons were back into their winning groove, as they opened the South Coast League at Aliso Niguel on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

After a slow early going, San Clemente turned up the press to kick-start a 20-0 first-quarter run to sprint away from the host Wolverines, 71-34, and extend their season-high win streak to eight games.

“I felt like we were getting really good looks. We just weren’t getting them down,” San Clemente coach Kerri Husbands said. “I’m just trying to tell them we’re doing the right things, we’re getting the right looks, the shots will start to fall.”

Those shots started to fall off the efforts of senior Claire Pham. As San Clemente (13-6) kicked up its full-court press, Pham scored three consecutive baskets off back-to-back steals by herself and another by senior Sienna Taus. Pham scored eight points in the first quarter and posted a game-high total of 16 points.

“Claire is an extremely explosive player,” Husbands said. “We’re not shooting well, and then all of a sudden, she hits three shots in a row. She’s our leading scorer. She hit 1,000 points this year. She flat out knows how to put it in the basket.”

Taus followed her steal and assist to Pham by nailing a 3-point shot and putting in back-to-back baskets with a layup. Taus and Pham are just two of three active seniors on a younger Tritons roster filled with talented freshmen and sophomores with impact juniors.

“Sienna does all of the little things that don’t show up all the time in the stat book,” Husbands said. “She does provide a real calming presence to the younger players on the court. She’s always coaching and telling where to be, probably one of our better communicators on the floor.”

To end the first-quarter explosion, San Clemente moved the ball quickly up to junior Jamie Morgan, who drilled a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. The Tritons led, 20-1, after the first quarter and 29-6 at halftime.

San Clemente led, 52-26, after three quarters and put in a full complement of bench players for the fourth quarter to seal the 71-34 win.

Sophomore point guard Ellie Anderson scored eight points, and Taus, Morgan and sophomore Reese Tremper each scored seven points.

San Clemente opened the season by winning its first five games, but that was followed by a six-game slide beginning with a tough tournament performance in Hawaii. Husbands said the team was without Anderson running the point for that stretch, which contributed to the downswing.

And while the Tritons are back on an upward trajectory, Husbands sees, with the ever-critical coach’s eye, more work to go for her squad to reach a higher level.

“It’s fun to have a talented, fun to have a group that works really, really hard, but at the same time, we’ve got so much work to do,” Husbands said. “We have so much potential, and now it’s can we put the work in and live up to the potential?”

San Clemente, ranked No. 10 in CIF-SS Division 2AA, continues South Coast League play at Trabuco Hills next Tuesday, Jan. 16, and hosts Tesoro next Thursday, Jan. 18. The Tritons’ first critical matchup with reigning league champion San Juan Hills is on the road on Jan. 22.

Zach Cavanagh SPORTS & OUTDOORS,Sports Headlines,Basketball,Claire Pham,Featured,Kerri Husbands,San Clemente,SCHS,Sienna Taus,South Coast League,Streak,Tritons,Win

2024-01-11 00:22:51 , San Clemente Times

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