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Vista girls seek for consistency

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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The first two weeks of Vista del Lago’s varsity girls’ basketball season summed up the team’s play fairly well: inconsistent.
 
The Eagles won their first four games of the season, starting with a three-game sweep of the Victory Christian Tournament with wins over Valley Christian, 52-28, Mesa Verde, 41-34 and Victory Christian, 52-28, followed with a 70-40 win over Casa Roble on Dec. 3. 
 
That four-game stretch was followed with a difficult week last week, as the Eagles loss all five games, dropping non-league contests to Ponderosa, 70-43 and Placer, 62-31 followed by three straight losses at the Trojan Toss-Up Tournament. Vista opened Thursday with a 69-33 loss to highly-respected Kennedy, followed by losses to Clovis, 51-36 and Will C. Wood, 59-50.
 
“I knew this week would be tough with a pair of tough non-league games and then facing the third-ranked team in the area in the first round of the Oak Ridge tournament,” Vista coach Marty Benjamin said. “Last week will probably be our toughest week of the season.  I see a lot of positives going forward and I think we’ll be in good shape for league.”
 
Vista has several familiar names on the roster, but not all have played on the varsity team for consecutive years. Ezenia Coleman, Taryn Thomas, Mashad Fallah, Hailey Coburn, Rachel Plag, Natalie Mills and Caprina Pipion return from last year’s team, which won six games. Seniors Rebecca Stephens and Stephanie Clawson missed most of last season, while another senior, Kendall Moore, is out for the first time since her freshman year. Juniors Gaby Pajo, Keri Reinbolt, Lily Loera and Maddie Scambray are in their first varsity seasons.
 
“I’m happy to have those players back because I know they can help us,” said Benjamin, in his first year as varsity head coach, replacing Swan Wainwright. “As a team, I’ve been happy with our defense and our energy and effort has not wavered. It’s been a challenge to get our team chemistry going. We’ve been inconsistent so far this season.”
 
Vista played host to Dixon Monday and its next action isn’t until the Lady Bulldog Winter Classic starting Dec. 27.