PERRIS — The locals affectionately refer to Perris as P-Town. In coach Marvin Williams' little corner of the city, the letter "P" stands for pressure.
Williams' team of small but aggressive players forced 45 turnovers, as Perris rolled to a 71-45 victory over visiting Paloma Valley Friday night.
"We try to bring the high-pressure, we try to bring the energy, we try to bring all of that," said Williams. "I have girls that want to play here, that want to be here, and they give it all for me and for each other."
The Panthers (14-6, 5-0), who have won 10 of the last 11 league titles, took control of the Sunbelt League. Paloma Valley fell to 13-8, 4-1.
"Coach always tells us to play hard on defense, so we just buckle down and do what we have to do," said Perris senior guard Aniya Baker, who had 23 points, 10 steals, eight rebounds and eight assists. "We're a team, and we just play as a team."
Perris, ranked No.1 in CIF-Southern Section Division II-A, unleashed a full-court press from the opening tip. The Panthers forced 15 turnovers in the the first eight minutes.
"We're small, but we're pretty quick," said Williams, whose frantic style of coaching has produced 436 victories in his 22 years with the Panthers. "We knew they were a lot bigger than us, so we knew we had to be faster than them."
Despite the errors, the Wildcats trailed by just three points after one quarter. Perris made only five of 16 shots in the quarter.
But the Panther press forced nine more turnovers in the second quarter, and they converted on 9-of-19 field goals to extend their lead to 31-23 at the half.
"I don't think our guards did a good job of supporting one another at the top," said Wildcats coach Nick Pardue. "They didn't see the court well, and we paid a dear price for it. We dribbled into a lot of double-teams that we knew were going to be there."
Perris made only eight of 25 shots in the third quarter, but still outscored the Wildcats, 20-10. Eleven more Paloma Valley turnovers contributed to the deficit.
"We made a lot of mistakes out there," said Paloma Valley center Breanna Turner, who scored a team-high 19 points. "We should have had better composure, but we just fell apart."
Perris also received strong performances from Bagby Desirae (16 points, 4 assists) and Christine Saldana (12 points, 15 rebounds). The Panthers' 26-point margin of victory was their smallest in their five league games.
"Their pressure is really hard to play against," said Wildcats senior point guard Brandy Howard, who scored 17 points. "But with better teamwork, we could have done better out there."