FAIRFIELD — Sometimes it pays to buy in bulk.
The Vanden High girls basketball team suffered through a poor shooting night – 37.5 percent from the floor with 17 missed layups in the first half – but the Vikings took 35 more shots than Fairfield and forced 37 turnovers in rolling to a 74-34 Solano County Athletic Conference victory at Ronald D. Thompson Gymnasium on Thursday.
“I must teach missed layups and missed free throws,” Johnson said. “There were 17 missed layups and 11 missed free throws – that I counted – in the first half.”
It was a first half with just one tie – at 2-2 – with no lead changes as Vanden (18-3, 5-0 SCAC) took the lead for good with a Toni Taylor 3-pointer from the right side 56 seconds into the game.
Yet for the first quarter and much of the first half, Fairfield (4-17, 1-4 SCAC) refused to go away. The Falcons trailed 15-10 after the first eight minutes and still trailed by fewer than 10 points at 20-12 after two Casara Vaughn free throws with 6:33 to go in the half.
The Vikings then outscored the host team 16-6 the rest of the quarter to take a 36-18 lead into halftime.
A 7-1 run midway through the third quarter pulled the Falcons to within 14 at 43-29, but they managed just two more points the rest of the period and just five more the rest of the game.
“I thought the first half we played well . . . I thought we hustled,” Fairfield coach Michael Gilliard said. “The second half we ran out of steam. We couldn’t get back and play defense. They pushed the ball well.”
The Vikings played their best basketball late, hitting 9 of 14 shots (64.3 percent) with just two turnovers in the fourth quarter, while holding the Falcons to just 1 of 8 (12.5 percent) with eight turnovers.
“Our defense has stayed solid” Johnson said. “Keeping them under 40 points and locking them up with three points in the fourth quarter, I like that.”
Mariah Williams led a balanced Vanden attack, while Kayla Blair had 10 points and five steals, Lanissa Belk had eight points and four steals, and Taylor had seven points and six assists. Aleseana Whitney also tossed in eight points.
Vaughn led Fairfield with 11 points, while Alaze Jackson had seven, and Ra’Shanae Johnson and Alexis Hines each had five.
Vanden cruised to a 58-15 victory in the junior varsity game as the Vikings (12-7, 5-0 SCAC) got 11 points from Krystal Gonzalez, 10 each from Monet Johnson and Brooklin Crawford, and nine from Brittney Livingston.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.