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Big bounce back for Bell-Jeff girls' basketball team

After suffering a league loss Tuesday, Bell-Jeff Guards bounce back and dominate St. Matthias, 48-18.

January 25, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • Bell-Jeff's Karina Moreno, center, pulls up for a shot.
Bell-Jeff's Karina Moreno, center, pulls up for… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

BURBANK — The Bellarmine-Jefferson High basketball team isn’t used to playing catch-up in the Santa Cruz League.

The Guards also are not accustomed to being the No. 2 team in the league standings and not capturing a league championship, something they have accomplished for five straight years,

But this season’s perspective changed for Bell-Jeff on Tuesday, when it fell in a league game to host St. Anthony. It was the Guards’ first league defeat since 2008, snapping the squad’s 29-game league winning streak.

Bell-Jeff looked to bounce back Thursday when it hosted St. Matthias in a league contest. The Guards were able to storm back in a big way, shutting out the Victorians for the first two quarters and coasting to an easy 48-18 home victory.

“It was really important for us to be able to come back and win a game like this after Tuesday,” said first-year coach Stan Delus, whose squad fall to St. Anthony, 72-36. “We lost a little confidence after that loss. We just needed a good performance to let ourselves know we’re still a good team.”

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It was a combination of solid Bell-Jeff (10-6,4-1 in league) defense and poor shooting by St. Matthias (6-14, 0-5) that enabled the Guards to jump out to an early lead and keep the Victorians off the scoreboard in the first half.

Playing well on both ends of the floor for the Guards was four-year player Tiffany Kho. The senior had a game-high 21 points. But her worth on the defensive was even more invaluable for the Guards, as she had 12 steals,

With Kho leading the charge, Bell-Jeff helped force 33 turnovers in the game.

“We needed to set our minds right after our last loss and I think we did a pretty good job doing that,” Kho said. “We could have been a little better on defense, but we’re still improving.”

Doing her share of damage down low for Bell-Jeff was 6-foot-4 sophomore Anastasia Tsybaeva. Her length created problems for the Victorians, as the sophomore had 18 points to go along with 16 rebounds and six blocks.

Things were a little shaky for both teams in the early minutes of the game. The squads combined to convert just one of their first 20 shots from the field in the first quarter. However, whereas the Guards were able to break out of their shooting slump, the Victorians were not.

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