Vista girls even league record, but suffer non-league loss to Rio Linda

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Marty Benjamin’s been preaching all year about the importance of getting off to good starts at the beginning of games, utilizing high doses of effort and energy and lately his team has done just that.

Thursday against Rio Linda, however, Vista del Lago’s varsity girls’ basketball team didn’t bring that effort and energy needed and lost to a team Benjamin felt his girls should have beaten.

The 55-53 loss dropped the Eagles’ record to 8-9 on the season, but more importantly, it reinforced Benjamin’s message to the team.

“For the last six games the girls had done a pretty good job in that area,” Benjamin said. “Against Rio Linda, though, we played poorly for three quarters before turning on the switch. We scored 22 points in the fourth quarter and got to within two points, but it was still a team we should have beaten.”

Vista trailed 42-31 after three quarters before playing a strong final period. The Eagles nearly put four players in double digits in scoring, but it wasn’t enough. Rebecca Stephens led the way with 19 points, while Kendall Moore scored 10. Caprina Pipion finished with nine, while Ezenia Coleman had eight.

Earlier in the week, Vista evened its Sierra Valley Conference record to 1-1 with a 42-28 win over El Dorado with a solid, consistent performance. The Eagles outscored the Cougars in every quarter, as they extended their lead throughout the game.

“It was a pretty good win in that we played really well defensively,” Benjamin said. “We held them to 10 points in the first half and we held them to single digits in every quarter but the fourth. We got after it from the start, but we did miss some opportunities on offense or we would have won the game by more points.”

Moore led the way with 10 points, while Pipion scored nine.

The Eagles play three home games next week and wins against Cosumnes Oaks (1-2, 6-10) and Galt (0-2, 3-13) would bode well heading into Friday’s showdown against league-leading Liberty Ranch (2-0, 12-5).