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Lady Braves win ugly against Esparto
Looks can be deceiving, and nowhere was that more in evidence than in Hamilton City on Friday.
Sure, the Lady Braves won by 24 points, but coach Mark Priano was anything but pleased with what he saw.
"We played down. Quite frankly their minds were on homecoming and not basketball," the coach said regarding the school's winter homecoming festivities.
The outcome of the game was never in question as Hamilton took a 13-4 lead after the first period, but if even half of the Braves' missed shots has found the mark, the spread would have been much larger.
"We could not shoot the ball straight tonight," Priano said, "it's unfortunate when we don't take our time."
Hamilton opened the scoring on a rebound bucket by Audra Jones, which she followed up with a 3-point play.
Justine McCorkle then found herself on the receiving end of a nice bounce pass from Jessica Lohse on a backdoor cut and finished of the play with a basket that made it 7-2.
The Lady Braves led 13-4 after one.
The visiting Spartans had troubles offensively all afternoon, being unable to penetrate Hamilton's 2-3 or 3-2 zone defense.
They were instead forced into putting up shots from the perimeter, and lacked a consistent shooter that could make the approach pay off.
Hannah West and Rachel Sanford shared the Esparto team lead in points with seven apiece.
Six different Braves got into the scoring column in the second quarter, as Hamilton went into halftime holding a 31-10 advantage.
Neither side hit much of anything in the second half, which saw the Braves outscore Esparto just 15-13.
"It's ugly, but it moves us to 5-1 in league which is critical," Priano said.
Despite an anything-but-stellar offensive output from the Braves, Audra Jones still managed to lead all scorers with 13 points.
Taylor Thomson and Lorena Corona added eight points each, and Corona continually pestered the Esparto ball-handlers and scored the bulk of her points off of steals and fast breaks.
McCorkle and Emily Bogart scored helped out with four points apiece.
Hamilton (10-8, 5-1 Sacramento Valley League) plays in Durham on Tuesday and hosts Gridley on Friday.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.