Verdugo Hills cruises past Lakeview Charter


From the opening tip of the contest, Verdugo Hills took care of business. The Dons stifled Lakeview with their poise and athleticism and ran the Lions right out of the gym. After jumping out to a 20-0 lead after the first quarter of play, the Dons would eventually cruise to a 66-27 final score. Nicole Vanegas led the way with 18 points 9 of 15 shooting from the field. The Dons as a team shot nearly 50 percent from the field, while forcing the Lions into 30 turnovers.

The Dons starting five set the tone for the rest of the squad to follow, as they took control of the game and made the most of seemingly every possession they were on the floor. While the Verdugo Hills starters were on the floor, the Dons outscored Lakeview 39-0.

While the first unit put on a master class in domination, the second unit proved that they could hold the fort when called upon. Offensive contributions from reserve players Lilly Opper, Melissa Lopez and Marija Vukic buoyed the unit's efforts. The three of them combined to shoot 42% from the field and account for 21 of the 27 points scored by the reserves. “I was happy with the effort of all 12 of our girls,” said Dons Head Coach Kevin Peterson-Henry. “Our focus is consistency because we have had a tendency to be up and down through games.”

Consistency was key to the play of the second unit. They moved the ball well in the half court and made the key passes when out on the break. The Dons reserves assisted on 9 of the 12 baskets scored when they were on the floor. While the reserves brought the effort on the offensive end of the floor, there was no drop off on the defensive end. The second unit piled up 9 steals and a blocked shot, while maintaining an even turnover ratio. “We have a lot of good players and I have the same expectations for the subs as I do for the starters,” said Coach Peterson-Henry. “I want them to be aggressive and play with confidence.

It was a successful two-day run for the Dons at the Vaughn Tournament, winning their two contests against the tournament host Vaughn and Lakeview by an average of 26 points. Despite the easy wins and improved play from one tournament game to the next, Coach Peterson-Henry knows that the road will get tougher, and both the starting unit and the reserves will need to play well to achieve their ultimate goals. “We need to improve at winning each position and limiting our mistakes,” said Coach Peterson-Henry. “I thought we did a much better job of that tonight than yesterday.”

The Dons improved to 4-2 on the young season and will resume play against an opponent to be determined later when the tournament resumes on December 10th. The Dons next game will open East Valley League play on the road against the Grant Lancers December 8th at 4 pm.

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