June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Godinez inches closer to league title with victory over Segerstrom

Emily Cruz of Godinez heads to the basket Friday night against Segerstrom. (Photos courtesy Mark Bausman, For OC Sports Zone).

Godinez High School’s girls basketball team is closing in on a Golden West League title with four games left in the regular season.

The Grizzlies, 12-8 overall and 6-0 in league play had a big win Friday night, defeating Segerstrom 42-41 in front of a big crowd at Segerstrom. Godinez hosts Ocean View Tuesday night.

In the win Friday night, Godinez was led by sophomore forward Julissa Mota, who had 12 points and eight rebounds and sophomore guard Valerie Esteban, who had 10 points and nine rebounds.

To see the slide show, click on the first photo:

“First off, I want to commend Coach Pouncey and his girls on a hard-fought battle,” said Godinez Coach AJ Alaman. “They’ve been the face of this league since it’s been constructed, and they haven’t missed a beat since he’s taken over.

“With four games left we’ve put ourselves in a great position to take over that reign. After the game I told my girls that these next four games are going to be the toughest games this season, take one game at a time and handle our business. It was a nerve-racking final two minutes.”

The Grizzlies were able to survive four consecutive turnovers with a one-point lead late in the game.

“My assistant coach Damien Gentry told the ladies before the game, ‘there’s going to be a time in the game tonight where things aren’t going to go our way and we must stay upbeat and united,'” Alaman said.

“We preach and hang our hat on the defensive end, and it came up clutch. With 3.8 seconds left senior small forward, captain Leilani VillaseƱor sealed the deal with the game winning block.”

Alaman said the victory was “bittersweet” due to an injury to one of the Godinez players.

“Junior point guard Brianna Lopez went down on the fourth quarter with a non-contact knee injury,” the coach said. “With heavy hearts and Bri on our mind we stayed true to this year’s motto ‘no excuses,’ and the next girls up had outstanding contributions. It was a great night to be a Grizzly.”

Segerstrom (18-6, 4-2) was led by seniors and four-year varsity players Faith Ledesma, who had 15 points and made 100 percent of her free throws, grabbed nine rebounds and had two assists, three blocks and two steals and Valeria Quero, who had nine points, two assists and five steals.

“….. It’s an epic game. Love the rivalry and coaching against AJ because he is one of the best coaches in the area,” said Segerstrom Coach Shonyta Pouncey. “Always a fun battle and congrats to them for winning the last  championship as we know it in the Golden West League.”

The Jaguars (18-6, 4-2) enter the week tied for second place with Katella. Segerstrom plays at Garden Grove Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.

Segerstrom was the co-league champion with Godinez last season.