Sophomore keys victory over overmatched Geneva
CALIFORNIA - The California Lady Vulcans (1-0) made an impressive showing last night in their Tip-off Tournament, downing overmatched Geneva, 79-34.
"We were nervous," said Darcie Vincent, the Lady Vulcans' second-year head coach.
"We came out and hustled. This was a good way to get the season started."
Four Lady Vulcans hit double digits, led by sophomore Sameera Philyaw with 22 points.
"Sameera is going to do a good job for us," said Vincent. "She got us going."
Also hitting double digits were freshman Sara McKinney (13), 6-9 junior Susie Gyarfas (12), and sophomore Krystal Cornish (10).
"We will have good balance like that all year," said Vincent. "With our depth, teams won't be able to defend just one player. All of our girls can get the job done."
Vincent made note of McKinney's performance, as this was her first collegiate game.
"Sara set the tone for us," said Vincent. "For her to come out and hit her first three shots was big for her confidence."
Gyarfas added 10 rebounds and two blocks. McKinney added nine rebounds.
"Susie will be one of our team leaders, along with Sameera and Sara, " said Vincent. "We have to work on her confidence. She will have to get stronger."
Junior Kelli Secourka led the Lady Vulcans with six assists. Junior Jenni Morrison added five assists and two steals for the winners.
The Lady Vulcans led 42-12 at the half. In the first half, the Lady Vulcans shot 59 percent compared to Geneva's 13 percent. Geneva hit three of 23 shots in the first half.
All nine Lady Vulcans that dressed played between 16 and 29 minutes.
"That is what I like about our team," said Vincent. "We don't have a senior on our team. For us to be picked to win the PSAC with all underclassmen, that is saying something about our girls' talent and attitude. Last year, we adapted to a new system here.
"Now it is time to show everyone what Lady Vulcans basketball is going to be about."
For the night, the Lady Vulcans shot 55 percent while holding the Lady Golden Tornadoes to just 29 percent from the field.
Despite the big win, Vincent made note of a few things that the team has to improve on.
"We have to box out better," said Vincent. "I would have liked to see us execute a little better on offense, but we will get it down."
The Lady Vulcans play tonight in the championship game against Grand Valley State, a 58-56 overtime winner over Glenville State.
Cori Jewett was high scorer for Grand Valley State with 13 points.
Glenville State's Colleen McBrien came off the bench to top all scorers with 18 points.