After 17 games, Mission Bay High’s girls were 3-14.
The defending San Diego Section Division III champions and SoCal Regional finalists were struggling to regain that magic under new coach Norm Guay.
The Buccaneers (13-14) righted the ship, rolling to their 10th straight win after Tuesday night’s 55-37 Division III playoff-opening victory over visiting Santana.
“We just came around, getting some players back from injury and having others improve,” said San Diego State-bound shooting guard Briteesha Solomon, who scored 20 points — 12 in the decisive second quarter when the Bucs outscored the Sultans 21-3.
One of those who came back from injury was point guard Briajunae Shepherd, who led all scorers with 21 points.
“It was hard to see us lose, sitting on the bench, but I saw some stuff and told coach and he changed some things,” Shepherd said.
The biggest challenge against Santana (11-16) was hitting the boards. After Mission Bay was outrebounded 9-7 in the first quarter, Onjalise Hilliard and Irma Ealy took control during the pivotal second and third quarters when the Bucs held a 31-12 advantage on the boards. Hilliard finished with 16 rebounds and Ealy had 15. By game’s end, Mission Bay held a 47-31 edge.
Kayti Grable led Santana with 16 points and 10 rebounds.