San Marcos girls prepare for Palomar League tournament

As if preparing for the league weren’t a tough enough task, San Marcos High returns to the Palomar League for women’s basketball.

That means the Knights should be in great shape in a few weeks when the league kicks off.

The final push in the Palomar League began on Monday when the Knights survived the first outing after 10 days without training before Christmas.

San Marcos scored 11 3-pointers to flee Sage Creek for a 51-29 victory in the first round of the game of pool at the annual SoCal Holiday Classic at Canyon Hills High.

“It was quite difficult at the start,” said point guard Leiana Bacho, one of only two senior members of the team. “We have no margin for error in this league.

“The coach tells us all the time that we have to forget the last mistake and play the next game because we are not going to face anyone in the league who will give us a thumbs up.”

Sage Creek (4-3) held a slim 5-3 lead in the first quarter when the Knights (7-2) scored the last 11 points of the quarter to gain control.

A jumper 10 seconds into the second quarter pushed Sage San Marcos’ lead to 16-5.

Sage Creek managed to cut the deficit to 20-14 when the Knights hit another push for a 33-15 halftime lead.

“It’s hard to be sharp after 10 days without practice and Christmas,” said San Marcos coach Roger DiCarlo, whose squad was 18 for 64 shots from the field for 28 percent. “We managed to do everything we’re supposed to do.

“It’s just that good enough is really not good enough to survive in the Palomar League.”

Bacho led the Knights with 14 points, including three 3-pointers to tie sophomore Kyra Quinn and Ava Wiedemann.

Claire Krupshaw added the other two 3 points for the Knights, who also had a big game from 6-foot junior center Dayvis Key with 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

San Marcos also got nine points from sophomore Ava Wiedemann and Quinn.

“I’m kind of the leader of this team,” Bacho said. “Sometimes I guess everyone is playing at the same level as me and seeing the same things as me, but they’re not.

“It’s frustrating sometimes, but it doesn’t matter when young players don’t see what I see.

“They are the future of the program and they will learn from these mistakes.”

San Marcos will next play at 7:30 p.m. today against Canyon Hills.

Sage Creek had 10 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks from junior Phoebe Arthur in the game.

The Bobcats continue to play today at 4 p.m. against Fallbrook at West Hills High.

Monahan is a freelance writer.

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