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LCC short - but not on talent

01/14/2014, 9:38pm PST
By Terry Monahan, Special to the U-T

Hot-shooting guard Taylor Pierce leads No. 5 Mavericks past No. 10 Poway.

La Costa Canyon guard Taylor Pierce (shown in a game last season) scored 28 points for the Mavericks in Tuesday's win over Poway.

— Before Taylor Pierce got to La Costa Canyon High, her nickname for a while was “Silk.”

“I kind of liked it,” said the junior guard best known for her outside shooting touch.

Though she doesn’t hear “Silk” anymore, there’s nothing wrong with her touch from the outside.

Behind 28 points from Pierce, the No. 5-ranked Mavericks raced to a 24-point lead and held on for a 60-45 nonleague victory over No. 10 Poway on Tuesday night.

“I liked being a shooter, but I spent all summer working on the rest of my game,” Pierce said. “My dad always told me if my defender is close to me just keep running until she slacks off.

“Jersey pulling, arm grabbing, anything to distract me. It doesn’t work.”

What made Pierce’s night even more spectacular was she only took 16 shots from the floor, hitting 10. She also converted all four free throws as well as hitting four 3-pointers.

“That tells me we need to get her the ball more times,” coach John Farrell said. “But there’s probably not a defense she hasn’t seen.”

Not to say that the Mavericks (12-3) don’t play a pressuring defense as well. They forced 17 first-half turnovers — Poway (11-5) had just 17 field-goal tries before halftime — and finished with 25 for the game.

Without much height on the team, that’s become the Mavs’ game plan.

“Defense wins championships and that’s why defense is the first thing we work on in practice every day,” said Pierce, who leads the team with a 19.6 scoring average. “We don’t slack off on defense because we’re kind of small.

“I doubt there’s ever been a team this small in school history.”

After Poway’s lone lead of the game at 2-0, the Mavs scored 12 straight points but still only led 17-12 at the end of the first quarter.

An 18-7 run in the second quarter pushed the margin to 31-19 by halftime courtesy of the turnovers.

La Costa Canyon had nine turnovers in the game.

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