by Christopher Mohr
January 12, 2010 (Santee) - What started out as a competitive game between two rival schools from Santee soon became a rout as the host Wolfpack of West Hills High School surged past the Lady Sultans of Santana High School with a comfortable 54-31 win.
In a contrast of strategies, both teams played a tight game at the start as the first quarter ended in an 11-11 tie. Santana attacked from the outside with three-point shots from Alyssa Padberg and Delia Files. West Hills' scoring was a mix of perimeter shots and layups by Sherika Miller, who contributed six points in the first quarter.
The second quarter bore no resemblance to the first. West Hills went on a 9-2 run that allowed them to pull ahead and go into the locker room with a 22-13 lead. The shooting touch that allowed Santana to keep the game tied in the first quarter abandoned them in the second as West Hills turned up the pressure on defense. The Lady Sultans made one out of 10 shot attempts in the second quarter, a hardship difficult to overcome against one of the better girls teams in the San Diego Section.
The tough defense of West Hills became nasty in the third quarter as the Wolfpack went to a full court press to ensure they would maintain their lead. They equaled their first half score with a 22 point third quarter. Santana continued to struggle on offense and could only score seven points.
"We kind of tightened down on defense because the game was getting close and so we just tried to lock down on defense a little more," Miller said about the game, "We really wanted to win, the stuff we were working on in practice, like the rebounding drills and the defense translated into the game and helped us win."
With 2:31 left in the third quarter, West Hills made wholesale substitutions, allowing reserves to play the rest of the game. Santana actually outscored West Hills in the fourth quarter, but it was well after the damage had been dealt.
Miller led West Hills in scoring with 13 points while Padberg equaled that total to lead Santana's scoring effort.
West Hills improves to 8-5 on the season and plays next Monday at Monte Vista (7-6). Santana drops to 4-12 with the loss and hosts Steele Canyon (2-7) this Friday.
Christopher Mohr is a freelance writer in the San Diego area and is a huge fan of the Chargers, Padres and Detroit Red Wings
Padberg 13, Files 9, Panknin 4, Conley 4, Gross 1 - Total: 31
Miller 13, Hays 8, Bennett 8, Naderhoff 7, Aguirre 6, Clark 6, Brown 4, Ingraham 2 - Total: 54