By Josh Levine
DALY CITY — The combination of Jefferson High School guards Taylor Collins and Samantha Martinez proved to be too much for the visiting Balboa girls basketball team in a 63-42 loss on Wednesday night.
Collins and Martinez each scored 23 points to claim the Indians’ fourth non-league victory of the year.
“They took care of business out there,” said Jefferson head coach John Moore. “But our big thing today was our defense. We played three good quarters of defense, but we really need four quarters. Our goal every game is to keep each quarter to less than eight points allowed. The only quarter that was really bad for us was the third quarter.”
That solid defense from the Indians (4-1) forced 32 Balboa turnovers.
“We dug ourselves a big hole early with the turnovers. We had some poor shot selection and lackluster defense,” said Balboa head coach Keith Smith. “We were missing three great players today in Malaysia Basallo, Jessie Trieu and Chanel Malone, but that’s not an excuse. We learned a lot today that team effort wins games.”
Basallo, a first-team all-AAA selection last season, is out with a shoulder injury, but Smith is expecting her back on the court in the before the new year.
Without Basallo, the Bucs got a team-high 19 points from Tatiana Jimenez, but the Balboa guards could not match up with Collins and Martinez defensively.
“Taylor is simply a go-getter. She’s a good lefty player and even though we pushed her to her right, she’s just an excellent player. I wish I had her on my side,” Smith said. “Fortunately we were pretty good defensively on Samantha, but it wasn’t enough.”
The Buccaneers (0-5) made a comeback in the third quarter, however, holding the Indians to six points on 3-of-20 from the floor in the frame. The Bucs cut the Jefferson lead to 39-31 heading into the fourth quarter, but Balboa failed to capitalize and missed 16 free throws in the game.
“All of our turnovers and missed free throws really killed us out there,” Smith said. “We seem to get in the bonus every game, but we’re having a hard time making them. Tomorrow we’ll be in the gym working hard on that.”
Taylor Collins — 23
Samantha Martinez — 23
Gemaraia Tufono — 6
Pauline Torio — 4
Esmeralda Navarro — 3
Tatiana Jimenez — 19
Esmi Cabrera — 5
Grace Trieu — 5
Ina Lastimosa — 3
Yasmeen Gardner — 2