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Third quarter dooms Eagles

By: Brett Ransford Telegraph Correspondent
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A 13-2 scoring disadvantage in the third quarter kept the Vista del Lago varsity girls’ basketball team from winning a third-straight game on Friday. In the final home game of the season, Vista del Lago (3-7 in league, 5-19 overall) faced Liberty Ranch, a team they lost to by 16 points three weeks ago, and played with them the entire way. The Eagles led 19-11 at halftime, but the poor third quarter saw them trailing 24-21 heading into the fourth quarter, where the Eagles played better but couldn’t pull out the win. Rebecca Stephens, back after an extended absence, led the team with eight points, while the team’s lone senior playing her final home game, Elizabeth Freese, scored seven. Stephens added six rebounds and six blocks, while Natalie Mills also grabbed six rebounds. Vista entered the game feeling good. Not only did they have Stephens back in the fold, but they were coming off two straight wins, including a 56-40 win over Galt on Feb. 7. Freese led the team over the Warriors with 21 points, posting game highs in points, steals and free throws, finishing 8-of-10 from the foul line, grabbing eight steals and had two assists with just one turnover. “It definitely feels good to have our work pay off, because we’ve wanted this for awhile,” said Freese. “We have to keep winning and get a spot in the playoffs, because it’s my senior year and I don’t want to stop playing.” Vista had previously lost six straight, extending back to a 63-60 loss at Galt on Jan. 13. For Freese and the Eagles, it appears the team’s collective fortune of late is tied to the number 21. “I’m really just going out and accepting passes from my teammates. It’s an all out team effort,” added Freese. “We definitely need someone to score points, but we work together as a team on defense.” True to her words the Eagles got their retribution on Galt by way of 25 steals. Galt was also held to eight and nine points in the third and fourth quarters. Caprina Pipion contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and seven steals, while Ezenia Coleman had 10 points, with five steals and 8-of-10 free throws. The last-second hero of the Cosumnes Oaks game on Friday, Hailey Coburn, had nine points and six rebounds. Coach Swan Wainwright said upcoming games against Liberty Ranch (5-3), Union Mine (3-6) and River City (10-0) present fighting chances to march up the league standings. “It took us awhile to get to this point, or this mindset, and realize we can really win some games,” said Wainwright. “We feel without a doubt that we can get the rest of these games. I always feel like that with this team.” After playing Union Mine on Tuesday, Vista finishes the regular season at River City on Friday.