Trailing by 1 at the half, #8 Esperanza outscored #9 Brea Olinda 20-7 in the 3rd quarter to propel the Aztecs to a 52-38 Crestview League win. 17-3 Esperanza entered Tuesday night’s Top 10 matchup riding an 11 game winning streak while the Wildcats were 17-4 after having won their last six games.
After a scoreless start midway through the first quarter, the Aztecs took a 10-7 lead late in the 1st after Kaiya Mack hit a 10 foot pull up in the paint followed by a 3 from the left corner by Madilyn Lam off the assist from Mack. Mariah Henderson would finish on an offensive putback for Brea with :43 left to cut Esperanza’s lead to 10-9 heading into the 2nd. The Aztecs would stretch their lead to 15-11 midway through the 2nd after a 3 by Kaiya Mack but Zoe Ramirez’s 3 from the left wing off the drive and kick from Brooklyn Kame with 2:09 left in the 2nd gave Brea a 16-15 lead heading into the half.
Emma Wu had a nice crossover at the top of the key and finished in traffic to give Esperanza a 24-16 lead with 4:47 left in the 3rd. Brea would cut the lead to 26-22 after Sarah Wang made two free throws. Emma Wu found Charlotte Muller on the left wing for the 3 with 1:49 left in the 3rd and Lacie Miyatake would hit back-to-back 3’s giving the Aztecs a 35-23 lead heading into the 4th. Zoe Ramirez’s 3 from the right wing and Sarah Wang’s finish in transition would cut Brea’s deficit to 39-32 with 4:50 left in the game. After Kaiya Mack hit two free throws to give Esperanza a 41-32 lead the Wildcats would cut the lead to 41-36 after Brooklyn Kame’s steal and assist to Sarah Wang with 3:48 left. Kaiya Mack’s back-to-back baskets, including a 15 foot pull up from the elbow, would put the game away as Esperanza improved to 18-3.
Leading Scorers and Player Evaluations
Kaiya Mack (22): Does a great job attacking gaps, finishing in traffic and is a willing passer. Plays under control, does not force it and is a 3 level scorer with an excellent mid-range game.
Zoe Ramirez (12): Smooth wing with a quick, high release allowing her to get her shot off while being contested.