Flat Play by Murrieta Mesa Gives Chaparral 56-31 Victory

#Octavia Williams dribbles the ball to the front court Stellar defense by Chaparral High School's girls basketball team, led to thei...

#Octavia Williams dribbles the ball to the front court
Stellar defense by Chaparral High School's girls basketball team, led to their home victory over Murrieta Mesa, 56-31.

The Pumas' defense gave the Rams problems throughout the game, leading to turnovers at key moments to kill off any chances of the Rams mounting a comeback rally. While the defense kept the Rams' score low, second chance opportunities from offensive rebounds allowed Chaparral to open up a wide lead that nullified the effort on defense that Murrieta Mesa (13-8, 2-3) showed.

"The effort wasn't there," Murrieta Mesa's Coach Kyle Rouse said. "Turnovers didn't really matter because their body language was not there from the beginning."

The game started off as a battle of the defenses with neither team scoring until halfway through the first quarter. Chaparral (11-9, 3-2) posted a 7-0 scoring run in 90 seconds, halfway through the first, but couldn't score anymore for the rest of the quarter.

Murrieta Mesa's Mikayla Greens scored all 3 of her team's points in the first to keep the score at 7-3 after one quarter of play.

Chaparral pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back. A sudden energy burst halfway through the second, invigorated the Pumas to go on a 12-1 scoring run led by junior Teya Searles' 10 points in the quarter. After a half of play, Chaparral led 20-10.

#3 Kayla Adams passes the ball into the post
After halftime, the Rams came out gunning on offense, but their defense faltered. Murrieta Mesa was able to score 13 points in the third quarter, to more than double their score at halftime. Unfortunately for the Rams, the Pumas were able to almost double their score as well, scoring 17 points in the quarter and pushing the score to 37-23.

By the time the five minute mark passed in the fourth quarter, Mesa gave their bench players valuable time on the floor to gain experience. When the final buzzer sounded, Chaparral came out victorious.

 While the turnovers and offensive rebounds killed off the Rams' chances to keep the score close, poor free throw shooting did not help as well. Mesa shot 12 for 26 from the line, which was a relief to Chaparral who put Mesa in the bonus in both halves.

"We played flat," Coach Rouse said after the game. "Our starting five just didn't come out to play and they shot an extremely high percentage. They took advantage. We gave them open looks."

Leading scorers for Mesa included Bryana Hairston who scored 7 points, and Greens and Octavia Williams who scored 6 each. Chaparral was led by Searles' 16 points and Sara Hogman's 12 points.

Murrieta Mesa will next face Murrieta Valley High School (17-4, 2-3) at home on Jan. 30.
#24 Mikayla Green passes the ball down court to #33 Jessica Brogden
Murrieta Mesa and Chaparral players dive for a loose ball after a Mesa turnover

#15 Kiersta Tanner takes a shot over #24 Taylor Norman

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