By Bonta Hill
The season opener looked bleak for last season’s Academic Athletic Association runner-ups at the end of the first quarter, as Lincoln High School shot 2-of-15 and scored only four points.
But the visiting Mustangs caught fire in the second quarter and they outscored Lick-Wilmerding 18-6 in the frame, en route to a 50-44 victory on Tuesday.
Lincoln junior forward Jessica Garrett scored eight points in that second quarter and led all players with 17 points and nine rebounds. Kelly Sung also contributed 15 points and six steals for the Mustangs.
“It’s a whole different team from last season, so we just try to work together as a team,” Garrett said. “I didn’t care about the points. I just wanted to help my team out and do whatever I could to help us get the win.”
With only seven players in uniform due to academic eligibility issues, Lincoln head coach Jason Lee expects Garrett to step up in the leadership department and was happy with her effort.
“I talked to [Jessica] before the game and told her she has to be a bigger presence for us, because she is our only post player,” Lee said. “She didn’t get much playing time last year, but she is making the most out of her opportunity. I give her credit because she was diving for loose balls, and that matters to me more than the points.”
For the Tigers (0-3), the early offensive struggles continue as they try to adapt to first-year head coach Daniel Tesfai’s system. Lick has scored an average of 33 points per game in its three losses.
The Tigers, which fell behind 22-16 at halftime after shooting 3-of-13 and scoring six points in the second quarter, cut the deficit to 36-34 heading into the fourth, but that was as close the Tigers would get, as inconsistent shooting would do them in.
“We weren’t contesting shots or boxing out in the second quarter and we talked about that at halftime,” Tesfai said. “We came out stronger and came back, but unfortunately we were climbing uphill and by the fourth quarter we were pretty tired.”
Sophomore Larissa Chan lead the Tigers with nine points.
Lee knows his team is far from where it wants to be, especially after its rough first quarter. He does like the talent on team though.
“My point guard is a sophomore and the rest of my team is pretty much from junior varsity, and there are still a lot of kinks,” Lee said. “I told the team that was as a crappy a first quarter we could play. Sure enough, they turned it around in that second quarter. The talent and skill level is there for us.”
Lick won’t take the court again until Dec. 8 when they take on College Prep in search of their first victory of the season.
“Our system is different than last year’s as it’s a very balanced offense that has everybody touch the ball,” Tesfai said. “It’s a long season, but so far it looks [good] in terms of what we are gearing for in our league.”
Jessica Garrett – 17
Kelly Sung – 15
Michelle Wong – 9
Kaley Selor – 6
Kalyn Selor – 3
Larissa Chan – 9
Jody Fu – 8
Hayley Lew – 7
Brenda Young – 4
Brianna San Diego – 4