Rancho Alamitos girls too strong for La Quinta


GARDEN GROVE - For the Rancho Alamitos girls basketball team to be successful they need to do three things: play fast, limit turnovers and make their jump shots.

The Vaqueros (11-9, 6-2) did all three of those successfully Thursday night, as they defeated Garden Grove League rival La Quinta, 48-40, at Rancho Alamitos High.

With the victory, the Vaqueros held onto sole possession of second place. The Aztecs (8-12, 4-4) were trying to catch the Vaqueros for the second spot in league.

The victory was important for Coach Anh Tran's team with the CIF-SS playoffs starting in less than two weeks.

"If we want to make a run in CIF we really need to limit the turnovers," he said. "We are a young and undersized team, so we need to get out in transition and knock down our shots like we did tonight."

Both teams used a full-court press most of the game. The Vaqueros broke the Aztecs' 2-2-1 press with ease, which led to open 3-point shots and easy transition layups.

Junior guard Hannah Laban found her stroke early, nailing two 3-pointers in the first quarter on her way to 13 points for the Vaqueros.

The Vaqueros were in control for the most part, but the Aztecs made a run in the fourth quarter. After trailing by 12 going into the quarter, the Aztecs cut the lead to six, but were unable to get closer.

There was a scary moment in the second quarter for the Vaqueros as starting point guard Justis Zimmerman went down hard. Tran said he held her out as a precaution and to rest her for the rest of the regular season.

Lauren Le had seven points for the Aztecs.

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