Gabriella G

Gabriella Graham maneuvers through Viking defenders on Jan. 31.

The Carpinteria High School girls basketball team hosted Hueneme on Friday

night, Jan. 31, as they continued Citrus Coast League (CCL) play. “They’re the

toughest team in the league, but they’re a bunch of nice girls,” said Warriors

interim coach Noah Gilbert. Gilbert, the Carpinteria girls JV coach, was coaching

in his first game for the Warriors varsity team, as the position became abruptly

vacant. Benti De la Cruz who was previously in charge of the varsity, headed

the Warriors for nearly two seasons. The Vikings got out to a 23-5 first quarter

lead, and never looked back, coming away with an 81-20 win at Warriors Gym

to put them atop the league at 8-0 and 16-7 overall. Carpinteria drops to 2-6 and 5-12 overall. Jordan Johnson put the visitors on top, cashing in off a steal for a layup to make it 2-0, Hueneme. But the Warriors’ Jasmine Gilbert, the interim coach’s daughter, knocked down a three to put her team up 3-2. The Vikings’ Kali Kraus then drove to the basket for two, putting Hueneme back in the lead, 4-3. Hannia Hernandez then dribbled through the lane to make the score 5-4, however, the Vikings pressure in the backcourt made things difficult for the home team. Johnson led the charge for Hueneme, hitting a three-pointer and then converting another steal into a bucket to put her team up, 10-5. Kraus buried a couple of threes, and the Warriors were suddenly down 16-5. Jordan scored 16 points on the night and Kraus tallied 12 points, five assists and seven steals in a victory that clinched at least a share of the CCL title. Another threepointer, by the Vikings’ Myla Scott, boosted the lead to 20-5.

In the second quarter, Hernandez converted a spin move down the lane for a

bucket to make it a 23-7 deficit. Hueneme extended the lead when a three-pointer by Mykah Johnson made the score 29-7. The Vikings had pushed the lead to 34-7 when Carpinteria’s Kaela Kelley hit a jumper to make it 34-9 with a little under five minutes left in the half. Hueneme kept it going in the second quarter, going inside and converting threes to go up 49-9 by halftime.

Hueneme continued their barrage on the basket in the third quarter, making

the score 60-10. However, the Warriors came alive when Graciella Verdugo

nailed a baseline shot just inside the arc, and Gabriela Graham’s drive and basket made the score 70-14. Carpinteria’s pride and determination kept them battling through the final quarter. Graham nailed a jumper to bring the Warriors up to 16, and Verdugo converted two free throws. Hernandez’s drive and score to the hoop, along with two foul shots of her own put the team

at 20. “They all played really hard, and we’re very proud,” explained the elder

Gilbert. Hernandez led the Warriors in scoring with seven, and Graham and

Verdugo each had four. The following game fell on Carpinteria’s senior day, Saturday, Feb. 1, and the team honored their only senior, Kaela Kelley, at home. Although the Warriors were unable to deliver a victory, it’s been a great year for the team: Hannia Hernandez was recently named Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table’s Athlete of the Week, the team won two games at the Bishop Diego tournament and five more games overall than they did the

previous season.

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