By Josh Levine
McClymonds High School of Oakland opened its 2010 girls basketball season on the road with a strong 55-38 victory over Balboa High School on Monday night.
The Warriors (1-0) extended their non-league win streak over Balboa (0-1) to four consecutive years behind 22 points from Angela Lee and 20 from Therica McCord.
“We preach a team concept,” said McClymonds head coach Dennis Flannery. “Everyone needs to fill their roles, and we win and lose as a team. It’s not Therica lost or won, but that everyone did.”
The Buccaneers (0-1) led for most of the first half, but strong defense got the Warriors right back in it.
Balboa, which lost 40-32 to McClymonds last season, scored only 11 points in the second half; McClymonds scored 27.
Balboa’s Yarnel Evangelista had 14 points and Malaysia Basallo had nine.
“In the second half, we couldn’t stop them,” said Balboa head coach Keith Smith. “They were making everything, especially Angela. We didn’t contest her shots and she made them.”
McCord dominated inside, pulling down multiple rebounds on both ends of the court and scoring most of her points in the second half.
Smith, a first-year coach, took over the Balboa program after the Bucs went 14-13 last season.
The biggest positive from Monday’s loss was the intensity and effort the Bucs showed, according to Smith.
“I have faith in our team,” Smith said. “We took a lot of open 3-point shots, and even though not all of them fell, we have the shooters. When you’re down by double digits, you need to take those shots.”
After an up-and-down 2009-10, the Warriors are looking to improve on their defense and add the extra pass on offense this season.
“We had bad defense in the first half, but in the second half we were rebounding, and covering their outside shots,” Flannery said. “We had a slow start, but I’m happy with how we played.”
Balboa continues its non-league slate at the Lick-Wilmerding tournament, which begins on Dec. 2.