The California High School girls basketball teams traveled to Ashland Friday, Jan. 4, where the varsity captured a 62-37 conference win.
"The girls did a great job on the defensive end," California Coach Bobby Sangster said. "Southern Boone came out and hit a lot of shots, which made us look bad, but it was a much better defensive efffort than the score shows."
The Lady Pintos led the entire contest, 18-13, 35-24 and 49-31.
Junior Sydney Deeken pounded out 30 points to lead California. Sophomore Kelsey Roush added nine points and freshman Mara Caudel scored seven.
"Sydney got a lot of run-out steals and she was hitting her jump shots," Sangster said. "She had a good night all around."
California's JV also defeated Southern Boone, 41-36.
The varsity girls are currently participating in the California 19th Annual Girls Basketball Tournament (Jan. 7-12). The top-seeded Lady Pintos faced #4 seeded Fulton in the first round of pool play Monday night, where California claimed a 63-39 win from the Lady Hornets.
The Lady Pintos led 14-6, 31-14 and 49-26 on their way to the win.
"This was our best game transition-wise that we've played this season," Sangster said. "We've been harping about turnovers. You know 18 a game is a lot. So at halftime, we talked about trying to find big windows and taking more risks in transition, and those risks really paid off in the second half."
Deeken led California with 23 points, followed by junior Meleigha Caudel with 11. Freshman Ashtyn Goans chipped in with eight points, while Roush and sophomore Kamryn Koetting scored seven each.
Fulton was led by freshman NaShayla Brandt with 15 points. Freshman Sloane Totta and senior Stephanie Hughes each scored seven points.
In other action Monday night at the tourney, #2 seeded Moberly defeated #3 seeded Boonville 42-41 in pool play.
The Lady Pintos (10-2) will play #5 seeded Southern Boone at 6 p.m. today (Wednesday) in the second round of pool play.
"Southern Boone is going to be out for a little blood," Sangster said. "It's a revenge game. They're going to want to show us they are better than how they played us last Friday."
Moberly will play Jefferson City's JV, the #6 seed, at 7:30 p.m. today (Wednesday) in pool play.
Boonville will play Jefferson City's JV at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the final round of pool play, and Fulton will play Southern Boone at 6 p.m.
The tournament championship game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday.