Vista Girls Defeat Eastlake, Move on in State Tournament

Junior guard Nasrin Ulel drives against Eastlake defender Olivia Klugg Wednesday night. After a 15-day break, the girls basketball te...

Junior guard Nasrin Ulel drives against Eastlake defender Olivia Klugg Wednesday night.

After a 15-day break, the girls basketball team of Vista Murrieta High School was able to shake off the rust and come away with a dominating win in the first round of the CIF Division 1 State playoffs Wednesday night.

The Broncos defeated Eastlake High of Chula Vista 70-50, moving on to the second round of the state tournament, in which they will play another home game on Saturday against West High School of Torrance at 6 p.m.

While the final score might not indicate it, the Broncos actually trailed for almost the complete first period, finally tying the game at 12 points with 25 seconds left. By this point the Vista Murrieta girls were in their groove and did not let Eastlake come close to them for the rest of the game.

"I liked the persistence we had at the beginning," said Broncos head coach Chris Jones. "When we fell behind, there wasn’t any panic to it. We just kept grinding, doing our thing. I thought [at] the beginning of the game, we were doing what we wanted to do well. We got the ball inside like we wanted to, we just weren’t finishing plays."

In the second quarter, the Broncos defense shined, only allowing the Titans to score seven points. the offense took off as well and the Broncos led by 20 at the half.

"We stayed in our man pressure most of the time just to give us a good run, get our legs underneath us, get used to being back on the court again, and that was somewhat effective," said Jones.

Junior Brittney Reed (32, above) led the Broncos in the first half with 19 points.

"She’s been a big time playoff player for us," said Jones. "If you go back to her freshman and sophomore year, she just ... for whatever reason, she’s got a little extra juice in the playoffs and we’ll just keep riding it as long as she gives it to us."

Vista Murrieta extended its lead to 26 points by the end of the third quarter, with Bronco junior Jaelyn Brown (right) scoring her first points from the field in the period.

The Broncos’ performance in the first three quarters carried them through the rest of the game. They slowed down in the final period, allowing the Titans to score a game-high 21 points. Reed ended the game with 25 points and she continues to put up outstanding performances in the postseason.

"I can always like dish it off to her, pass, she hits the three," said Brown of her teammate, Reed. "She’s amazing. She can drive to the basket, shoot, everything."

Brown and sophomore Keilanei Cooper each finished the game with 11 points.

Vista Murrieta, which came in seeded second, has a tough game ahead on Saturday, as West is ranked 10th in the state.

"West is a back-to-back CIF champ," said Jones. "They’ve played a very tough schedule, so I fully anticipate a war on Saturday, and we have to be much better and much more prepared to see that kind of a team."

Vista Murrieta defenders Alexis Marshall (11) and Keilanei Cooper (10) close in on Eastlake's Jaeda Marsh (20).


Vista Murrieta High School 930827213826896036

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