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Spartans rout rivals to capture tourney

Photo By: Shirley Pefley/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Shirley Pefley/Special To The Town Crier

Mountain View High’s Jayme Hughes takes the ball to the basket in Saturday’s tournament final against rival Los Altos.

There was good reason for the ragged play in the Los Altos High Holiday Classic final. The Los Altos and Mountain View girls were not only playing their third basketball game in as many days, but it was the Eagles’ fifth contest of the week and the Spartans’ fourth.

The tired teams made nearly twice as many turnovers as shots, with Los Altos making most of the miscues and rival Mountain View a majority of the baskets to win 56-33 Saturday.

“We didn’t play very well today, but I knew that was going to happen,” said coach Judy Auclair, whose Spartans led only 26-21 at halftime. “But they rallied up and everybody got to play.”

Mountain View pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Los Altos 19-7. The Eagles committed 11 of their whopping 37 turnovers in the decisive period.

“You can’t win basketball games turning the ball over and giving it to the other team,” Los Altos coach Kevin Lee said. “We talked about that before the game, but I got a sense the girls were a little bit exhausted.”

The Spartans had their share of turnovers as well (22) but overcame them with superior shooting, size and depth. Mountain View shot 37.3 percent from the field and Los Altos only 24.3. Ten players scored for the Spartans (5-1 overall), while only six produced points for the Eagles (2-3).

Guard Bailey Polisso led Mountain View with a season-high 18 points and was voted tournament MVP. The senior made four 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Karen Kauffman added nine points.

Senior guard Ideen Seyed paced the Eagles with 12 points and earned a spot on the all-tourney team. Backcourt mate Tianna Vasquez chipped in eight points, highlighted by a 3-point play with four seconds left in the opening quarter. Fouled on a successful drive from the left baseline, the senior’s free throw cut the Spartans’ lead to one.

Vasquez scored the first points of the second quarter on another drive to put Los Altos up 12-11. That proved to be the Eagles’ first and only lead of the game.

The Spartans scored the next nine points to take control. Polisso ignited the run with a pull-up jumper from midrange and capped it with a long 3. She tallied 10 points in the quarter.

“Bailey played very well today,” Auclair said. “She’s been playing extremely well this year.”

Mountain View turned to other players in the third quarter after Polisso went to the bench with four fouls. The Spartans scored the first six points – a drive by sophomore guard Rhea Bergman, then two free throws and a point-blank basket from Kauffman.

The Spartans entered the fourth quarter ahead 45-28 and quickly put more distance between themselves and the Eagles. Sophomore Jayme Hughes, playing with a pulled hamstring, spurred a 6-1 run to open the period by draining a pair of midrange jumpers.

“Jayme didn’t score as much as she normally does – that’s her push-off leg – but she played excellent defense for us,” Auclair said. “She’s our utility player – we play her everywhere.”

Hughes finished with five points. She put up 15 Friday in a 45-37 win over Valley Christian.

Lee has a promising young player of his own in freshman center Meg Enthoven. She scored seven points Saturday and 16 in a first-round win over Andrew Hill.

“She’s a pretty good freshman,” Lee said. “She’s very talented.”

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