If there is any team out there that just couldn’t wait for district play to start, it’s the McCurdy Charter School Lady Bobcats.
After accumulating an 8-10 record prior to the star of districts, the Lady Bobcats have coasted their way to a 3-0 start in District 2-2A and improved to 11-10 overall.
Scoring hasn’t been an issue for McCurdy in the past three games, but it has certainly been a problem for their opponents. The Lady Bobcats have allowed a mere average of 14 points per game in the last three contests while scoring an average of 57.6 points per game on their end.
They gave up two points more than the average in their latest outing, which was a crushing 59-16 win over Santa Fe Waldorf/Desert Academy Feb. 9 at Santa Fe’s Christian Life Gymnasium.
“Well, I don’t want to be over-confident, but if we keep playing the way we have been playing and opponents keep playing the way they have been playing, then I think we’ll be alright,” McCurdy head coach Ron Sanchez said. “Id say we’re heavy favorites in the district.”
Senior Angie Arroyo led all players with a game-high 13 points against the Lady Wild Wolves, but the inside presence from freshman Haylee Valdez was also a big factor as she was able to score 10 in dominating fashion from inside the paint.
“She’s coming around and she’s getting some confidence,” Sanchez said about Valdez. “I think she’s really going to help us out at state because she’s a big body. She’s hard to move and she’ll move you.”
Sanchez said despite the competition as of late, he’s seen a vast improvement in his team’s turnover rate and ability to put together a full four quarters of solid play — two things that often hurt McCurdy during the non-district stretch.
Valdez kept things simple in her explanation of the team’s late success.
“We’ve gotten more confidence as things have come along just because we’re winning more,” she said. “Were playing together as a team more and it’s just working out good. These games are fun because we get to run our plays like we know how to run them, compared to harder teams where it is harder to get the ball into the middle and get shots around the rim.”
McCurdy asserted themselves early against the Lady Wild Wolves by beginning the game on an 11-0 run, which was followed by a 22-0 run that helped them build a 37-4 advantage at halftime.
The inside presence of Valdez and Erika Loera-Avila helped open things up on the outside, and the Lady Bobcats tallied four 3-pointers in the first half along with several other mid range jumpers.
“Were starting to look more inside and looking for cutters and that’s better,” Valdez said. “When you pass inside, it brings the defense from the outside down, then you can pass back outside for more open jumpers.”
Waldorf/Academy scored just two points apiece in the first and second quarters, with all four coming from Olivia Rigatti, who went on to lead the team with eight points.
“These games almost — like tonight — we have to take it as a practice,” Sanchez said. “We have to run our plays and execute our plays because we aren’t getting challenged. It’s hard to do (keep the players from getting complacent) because they know a lot of these teams are young and they’re not going to challenge us as much, so sometimes it’s hard to motivate.”
Sanchez may have to work even harder to keep the team motivated in practice this week because the trend of domination will most likely continue Thursday (2/14) at Memorial Gymnasium when the Monte Del Sol Charter School Lady Dragons (1-17) visit McCurdy.