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Prep girls basketball: Cents turn to their D

Saugus defense leads it past host Sultana

Posted: February 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The Saugus Centurions girls basketball team knew the Sultana Sultans of Hesperia would want to send the ball inside in their first round CIF-Southern Section Division IIA playoff game on Saturday night at Sultana High School.

And the Centurions were determined not to let that happen in a 42-36 victory.

Rachel Eaton pulled down 14 rebounds, blocked three shots and added seven steals, as Saugus (15-13 overall) forced Sultana (14-11) to beat them from the outside.

“Our defense kept the ball out of the middle,” said Saugus head coach Kent Eaton. “They had a couple of big girls that they were counting on to score inside — and we wouldn’t let them score inside. They had to rely on their outside shot and rely on rebounds.

Alexa Ferrante led the Centurions on offense, scoring 11 points and adding six steals as Saugus’ defense overwhelmed the Sultans.

Fay Osburn scored 10 points with three steals and Justice Bennett had six points and seven rebounds.

“Overall, good solid game,” Kent Eaton said. “Defensively is where we made the difference. Between Alexa and Rachel there was 13 steals right there. We were able to get hands on balls and pull down rebounds.”

Saugus opened up a four-point lead after the first quarter, before entering the halftime break up 29-19.

Saugus struggled offensively in the second half, scoring just six points in the third and seven in the fourth.

The Sultans’ 6-foot, 2-inch Ashley Hughes was making life difficult for Saugus, blocking multiple shots and disrupting the Centurions’ post game.

But the defense never let up.

“You have to rely on the outside shots and when you go cold it gets frustrating,” Kent Eaton said. “That’s the nice part is they didn’t give up defensively.”

The Centurions will host either No. 2 seeded Murrieta Valley, which finished as runner-up in the Southwestern League, or Mountain Pass League No. 3 Citrus Hill on Wednesday at Saugus High School.



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