FAIRFIELD — It was a game of runs – and defense.
The Vanden High girls basketball team caused 44 turnovers in its 77-49 Solano County Athletic Conference win over Bethel at Jim Boyd Gym, Thursday, the team’s 17th straight conference win.
The Vikings (14-5, 3-0 SCAC) were coming off a 102-10 victory over Vallejo, Tuesday, and looked to do the same to the Jaguars (9-7, 2-1 SCAC) as they took a 15-3 lead early in the first quarter.
Bethel came to play, however, ending the quarter on a 13-0 run, giving it a 16-15 lead after the opening eight minutes.
The Jaguars’ Ajanee Rankins started Bethel’s run with a pull-up jumper and added two 3-pointers to give her eight in the period.
During the run, the Jaguars were 5 of 7 (71 percent) while the Vikings were 0 of 6.
“In the first half we played sloppy,” Vikings coach Allison Johnson said. “We had too many missed opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of. That’s something that needs to change immediately.”
In the first three minutes of the second quarter, it went back and forth with five lead-changes and one tie.
Once Vanden took the 24-23 lead from a pair of Chantell Greer free throws, it went ahead to stay.
The Vikings held Bethel to nine points in the second quarter – seven of them coming from the free throw line.
Vanden went on a 11-2 run to make it a 31-25 lead at halftime.
The Jaguars had 22 turnovers in the first half compared to the Vikings’ seven.
The third quarter momentum went to Vanden as it opened with a three-point play from Kayla Blair, who had nine points in the period. Bethel’s Naomi Strode had all of her ten points in the quarter.
It was the fourth quarter where the Vikings really capitalized as they caused 14 of the Jaguars’ 22 second-half turnovers.
“I thought we caused the same problems in the first half (turnovers), we just weren’t able to capitalize on them,” Johnson said. “The second half we did.”
Bethel was held to four baskets in the fourth and were outscored 25-11 as Vanden was 10 of 17 (58 percent) from the floor.
The Viking’s Julia Blackshell-Fair had ten points in the fourth quarter, ending the night with 18.
Blair led Vanden with 19 points, while Kiana Moore added 15 and Greer had 13.
Bethel was led by Rankins with 14 points, while Serena Santos had 11.
In JV action, the Vikings (13-4, 3-0) won its game as Krystal Gonzalez led with 15 points, while Aryel Moreland had 14 and Macie Saunders had 12.
Vanden looks to improve its SCAC record as it travels to American Canyon, Tuesday.