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Vista girls where they want to be

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Things have gone as expected for Vista del Lago’s varsity girls’ basketball team.

Coach Marty Benjamin figured Christian Brothers would be the team to beat. After losing twice to the Falcons, including 70-24 last Friday, Benjamin’s assessment seems to be correct, as Christian Brothers leads the Capital Athletic League with a 7-0 record.

The Eagles, therefore, are battling Rio Americano and El Camino for second place. On Jan. 30, the Eagles defeated El Camino for the second time this season, this time 50-37.

The victory was not only a solid win for the team, but it was also Benjamin’s 100th win as head coach of the Eagles, now in his sixth season.

“It was a small milestone, but I’m happy to have achieved it,” Benjamin said. “More than that, I was happy with how the girls played. It was a good game for us.”

Ceonna Pipion led the Eagles with 15 points, as her inspired play continued. Mia Perez scored 12 points, while Lindsay Moody finished with 10.
“We got that third scorer again with Ceonna,” Benjamin said. “Ever since that first game against El Camino, she seems to have turned the corner. There’s a look in the way she’s playing. She’s not as tight and is having more fun and is playing with a smile on her face. The way she’s carrying herself on the court, she just looks more confident.”

Though the week ended with the loss to Christian Brothers, Benjamin didn’t harp on the loss.

“We’re where we want to be,” Benjamin said. “Christian Brothers has proven they’re the best team in the league, and are ranked number-one in Division III by MaxPreps. We’ve locked up a spot for the playoffs, and now we’re playing for positioning. We have a chance to finish well and maybe get a first-round opponent who we can beat.”

To do that, the Eagles will have to beat Casa Roble (1-6, 4-18) on Wednesday and then Mira Loma (0-7, 2-20) on Friday in the team’s final regular season home game.

Vista began the week with a 5-2 record in league and an 11-13 record overall. If they beat Casa Roble and can get a win Friday, they would be 7-2 and be headed for Rio Americano on Feb. 14. If things play out as they should, both teams would have identical records with the winning team finishing in second place.

“That’s going to be a big game for us,” Benjamin said.