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Vista girls wrap up strong season with wins

Junior varsity team finishes with 21-5 record
By: Matt Long
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Vista del Lago girls junior varsity basketball team finished off their season with two wins, capping off an impressive 21-5 season, including a 9-3 mark in the Sierra Valley Conference. The Eagles won their final two games, beating Ponderosa, 37-22 on Wednesday and then Union Mine on Friday, 72-20. We've been plagued by slow starts, but we finally executed our offense and shut them (Ponderosa) down at the other end of the floor in the third quarter, outscoring them 18-6, Vista coach Jim Stephens said. Ponderosa scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to cut our lead to eight, but then we shut them out the rest of the game. Monica Miles led the team with 13 points and also had eight rebounds and four assists. Danielle Bryant scored eight points, pulled down 10 rebounds and also made three steals and three blocks. Stephanie Stephens scored six points and had 10 rebounds and three blocks. Courtney Wolking played well defensive, according to Stephens. On Friday Vista jumped out to a 20-3 lead after the first quarter on its way to an easy win over Union Mine. Miles scored 16 points to lead the way and also added eight rebounds, seven steals and four assists in a magnificent game. Stephens scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds and made three blocks. Katie Beattie scored all eight of her points in the second quarter and added six rebounds. Andi Romo scored four points, but also had four rebounds and four blocks and played a strong defensive game, according to Stephens. Vista blocked 14 shots in the game, which had they gone in, accounted for more points than Union Mine scored. All in all, it was a great first season for the Eagles. We wanted to be competitive with every team we played and we accomplished that, Stephens said. We also wanted to get better with each game and I think through mid to late January we did, but I think we might have peaked there. We had a lot of individual improvement. All 10 players improved. Vista had great scoring balance throughout the year. Miles led the team scoring 11 points a game, while Stephens chipped in 10 and Bryant added nine. Stephens averaged a double-double, also pulling down 10 rebounds a game, and made 37 blocks to lead the team in that category. Bryant averaged eight rebounds a game. Robin Clawson averaged four assists and only one turnover as the team's point guard, and also led the team with 84 steals. We had a great ability to share the ball and for three-quarters of the year we were the best defensive team, Stephens said of his team's strengths. We ran the court well and played a good transition game. The girls played together. We're at a really good jumping off point for next year. While all the teams we'll face next year will have returning varsity players, we're going to have to shoulder that on ourselves. We're going to take some time off and then play in some summer tournaments. If we're going to take our lumps at the varsity level, I'd rather do it during the summer league than in the winter.