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Vista takes final game of Placer tournament

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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After five straight losses, Vista del Lago’s varsity girls’ basketball team picked up its second win of the season on Saturday. The Eagles won their third and final game of the Coach G. Memorial Tournament at Placer High, defeating Mesa Verde 40-30 to place seventh. Vista enters this week’s Oak Ridge Toss-Up Tournament, which will be played Wednesday through Friday, with a 2-7 record. In the win over Mesa Verde, Vista led 19-14 at halftime and pulled away in the third quarter by outscoring them 15-4 and took a 34-18 lead into the fourth quarter. Becca Stephens led the team with 15 points, while Elizabeth Freese added 12 and Ezenia Coleman finished with seven. In the two previous games of the tournament in losses to Folsom, 52-35, and Rocklin, 80-61, the Eagles struggled mightily with defensive pressure. Turnovers kept the team from being able to stay close in both games. “Folsom just outplayed us,” said Vista coach Swan Wainwright. “We know what we’ve got to work on in practice and we do it. We’ve just got to transfer it from the practice court into the games.” Stephens led the Lady Eagles against Folsom with a double-double (11 points and 10 rebounds) to go with her six blocks. Vista del Lago trailed Rocklin 17-13 with a minute to play in the first quarter on Thursday, but gave up the final six points of the quarter and trailed by 10, 23-13, after one quarter. The Eagles played the Thunder evenly in the second quarter and still trailed by 10 at halftime, 39-29, but fell apart in the third. Vista had numerous turnovers, most of which came before the team had the ball past its own foul line versus Rocklin’s full court pressure, which led to their demise, as the Thunder pulled away to a 24-point win the second half. Stephens led Vista with 26 points. Caprina Pipion and Freese added eight points, while Taryn Thomas finished with six. “I think we need to be battle-tested in these preseason games and get some war wounds so that we’ll be tougher when we get to league,” said Wainwright. “We’ve got to realize there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and we have to strive to get it.” Vista opens the Toss-Up Tournament at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday against another difficult opponent, 6-0 Kennedy. Nick Pecoraro contributed to this story.