The game certainly wasn’t a pretty one and plenty remains to be worked on, but the San Luis Obispo High girls will take it.
The Tigers (7-8, 1-1 PAC 7) pulled out a scrappy 41-30 victory at home to get their first league win over Atascadero (8-4, 0-1) on Friday night.
The game was a defensive battle as both teams scored four points in a quarter — Atascadero in the first and San Luis Obispo in the third.
Jessica Judge and Erica Chandler each had 14 points for the Tigers, who managed to contain the Greyhounds’ best player, Mary Kate Evans, who will attend Cal Poly on a full ride scholarship in the fall.
Evans, coming off a foot injury, had only four points and sat for much of the first half with three early fouls. She fouled out with less than two minutes to play.
“I knew I’d be guarding Mary Kate and that was my number one priority, to try to shut her down,” Judge said. “I think we did tonight. I think we have a lot of things to work on in offense, but I think our defense was good.”
Despite the double-digit loss and their offensive troubles, the Greyhounds pulled within a point in the fourth quarter as Evans made back-to-back buckets.
The second came on a driving layup on the left side after a missed free throw to make it 27-26 with 7:02 remaining.
But that’s when San Luis Obispo pulled away as Judge cleaned up on a miss and converted a layup with 3:45 left, giving the Tigers a 31-26 lead.
Then Christine Freberg hit a clutch 3-pointer on San Luis Obispo’s next possession to make it 34-26 and put the Greyhounds on their heels.
“Christine’s shot was a big one for us,” San Luis Obispo coach Dan Monroe said. “That was a key basket. Overall, we didn’t play well offensively, but a win is a win. I think we did a good job fighting for loose balls and getting steals.”
Atascadero fell well short of its 40-point season average. Earlier in the season, Atascadero had games where it scored in the 50s and 60s.
Maddie Leong led the Greyhounds with seven points, and Chandler Haskell had six.
San Luis Obispo’s Chandler said the PAC 7 will be a battle every game this season, and that she liked the way the Tigers competed Friday.
“Every game will be tough,” Chandler said. “But we’re not going to win a lot of games if we play the way we did tonight. We’re going to have to move the ball better and get better shots.”