El Rancho continues march towards Del Rio League title
PICO RIVERA – The El Rancho Dons girls basketball team kept its perfect Del Rio League record intact, as they defeated visiting Whittier, 39-24, Wednesday.
With the win, the Dons improved to 20-5 overall and a perfect 6-0 in league. Whittier falls to 3-19, 0-6.
“It was a pretty ugly offensive game for both of us,” said longtime El Rancho coach Randy Shigezane of the low-scoring game. “Jaylene (Oviedo) was held to a season-low five points. (Whittier) did a real good job defending her.
“Willie (Whittier coach Pittman) is always prepared. Fortunately enough, we scored enough to still come out on top. It was just a bad shooting game by [Oviedo].”
Oviedo came into the game with a 21-point per game average.
With the win, El Rancho has positioned themselves to claim the DRL title outright with a victory over Call High on Friday. The Dons defeated Cal, 56-33, in the first round of league play. The Dons will aim for an undefeated season with two more wins.
El Rancho, ranked 9th in CIF-SS Division 2A), finished the previous season as co-champs with La Serna. The Lancers ended the Dons’ 38-game league winning streak last year.
Picking up the slack for the Dons instead of Oviedo was forward Sarahid Hernandez. The senior was the only El Rancho player in double figures.
Junior guard Elicia Moore (2-4 three-pointers) and sophomore guard Sarah De Leon (2-4 three-pointers) added nine and six points, respectively.
The Dons attempted 31 long-range shots in the game.
Whittier, which scored only 16 first-half points, was led by junior forward Jaclyn Padilla with nine points, while sophomore forward Jasmine Negrete and senior forward Lindsey Rico added four and three points, respectively.
In a low-scoring opening half, the Cardinals managed just one basket and two free throws, to trail, 16-4.
The Dons, who tossed up an amazing 31 3-point attempts in the game, connected with four long-range baskets in the opening quarter and only a pair of baskets in the second.
“Both teams struggled in the first half, especially us,” Whittier coach Willie Pittman said. “But in the second half, they got going a little bit, taking advantage of the millions of turnovers we had.
“If you give a good team like that with an awesome coach like Randy, you are bound to come out on the wrong end of the game. Making shots and free throws have been the strong point for my team this year. We know that playing a powerhouse like them cannot afford to make the mistakes we did tonight. They were better with a better coach. I have a lot of respect for Randy.”
Another low scoring quarter by the Cardinals, with four points, put them in a big hole, 24-8, heading into the fourth quarter.
Both offenses came alive, with the Dons draining four more three-pointers. Whittier, which scored 15, was led by six points from Padilla.
Whittier has a bye Friday and will host La Serna Wednesday.