Cypress girls strong in Empire League opener


ANAHEIM - Cypress' girls basketball team started off Empire League play on the right foot, defeating Western, 48-34, in the league opener for both teams Wednesday night at Western High.

The Centurions (9-4, 1-0) used a full-court press to get off to a quick start and led 13-6 after the first quarter. After being tied at 4, the Centurions' pressure turned up a notch, creating turnovers and some easy shots to help Cypress take the lead.

In the second, senior guard Rachel Masai got going, mostly on drives to the basket in which she used a nice crossover dribble and was able to finish against the Pioneers (7-7, 0-1).

Masai had seven in the quarter, and 11 for the game, as the Centurions led 26-17 at halftime.

Centurions center Haley Hodgson was held to a season-low point total, but she made sure her counterpart, Darshana Taafua, didn't hurt the Centurions. Taafua was held to 14 points.

The Centurions ran their lead to 16 points in the third quarter and were able to take their starters out midway through the fourth.

The Pioneers were stifled by the Centurions' defense all night, and they didn't make any 3-pointers.

Monet Mirabal and Michele Park each had 10 points for the Centurions.

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