Mission Bay’s Irma Ealy (left) looks for an opening against Rylee Johnson of Poway, which improved its record to 7-1 with the win.
Before this season, Mission Bay High’s girls basketball team was getting Top 10 votes based on the Buccaneers’ berth last year in the Southern California Regional final. Poway was only getting a few looks.
But discounting Titans coach Jay Trousdale, who stands second in the San Diego Section in career wins, is a mistake. That has been evident by Poway’s 7-1 start after the Titans hammered host Mission Bay on Thursday 59-39 to advance in the 66th Kiwanis Tournament.
“I liked our intensity and the girls were able to play the defense we needed,” said Trousdale, who collected win No. 543 in this his 26th year. “We played a diamond-and-one defense on Briteesha Solomon (holding the SDSU recruit to 18 points).
“Honestly, I think we’re one of the better passing teams in San Diego County and we held them off the boards for the most part.”
Indeed, the Titans were very patient with the ball, passing, passing, passing until there was an open shot, whether it was an easy layup under the basket or one of the seven 3-point field goals they buried, four by point guard Mandy Castro.
By gaining control of the boards, Poway also held Mission Bay to single-digit scoring for three of the four quarters.
Another area of strength, at least in this game, was the Poway bench, which scored 22 of the 59 points. It was in stark contrast to zero for the Bucs.
Poway 6-footer Park Masterson matched Castro for team-high scoring with 12 points.
This is not the same Mission Bay team as a year ago. The only starter still in uniform is Solomon, a talented all-section player. Graduation, players moving and a knee injury to Briajunae Shepard have decimated the team.
The school also lost its coach. The result has been an 0-7 start.
“It’ll take us a while,” said new coach Norm Guay, who enjoyed success at Our Lady of Peace but realized that even under the best of conditions this team was going to be a lot thinner than a year ago.
Making matters worse for Mission Bay, this was the second straight game for the Bucs on Thursday after the team lost to Canada’s St. Gregory 56-49, despite a 39-point performance from Solomon.