San Marcos freshman Alaysia Styles, who scored 20 points, is guarded by Savannah Camp of San Pasqual.
ESCONDIDO Young teams without much senior leadership usually don’t fare well.
When asked how many games his young squad won last summer, San Marcos High coach Roger DiCarlo held up one finger.
Before the start of the girls basketball season, sophomore Janicia Garrett, an All-Avocado East League performer last season, worried about the Knights defending their first league championship since 1986.
If the early returns are correct, San Marcos will be just fine despite having only one senior on the roster.
The young Knights opened league play Tuesday with a convincing 64-43 win at San Pasqual, serving notice that they will not go quietly into the night.
“We have size inside and speed at the guard spot,” DiCarlo said. “Because we’re so young I scheduled tougher than most years.
“Our strength of schedule showed in this game. We were not flustered by anything they did.
“They looked like a young team and we looked like the veteran team.”
A stifling defense that held San Pasqual (8-9, 0-1) to 27.6 percent shooting aided the Knights (14-5, 1-0), who shot 37.3 from the floor.
“Defense helped us get in gear,” said San Marcos’ 6-foot-1 freshman guard Alaysia Styles, who scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds. “I thought our first half against Poway was a little better. It was the second game this season and we were still happy about winning our first one.”
Play more games like this one and the Knights will contend until the very end.
Garrett tallied 13 points while freshman Olivia Perez added 11 points. Gabrielle Lazare, the Knights’ lone senior, collected a team-high nine rebounds.
Senior Savannah Camp had 18 points and 13 rebounds for San Pasqual.
“We know we have to play our roles,” Garrett said. “Our shooters hit shots, our point guards got the ball where it had to go and our defense worked really well.
“I wasn’t sure what we had this year and I know very few thought this team could do what it’s done so far.”
Maybe no one else believes, but the Knights are beginning to.