Cuesta College

Cuesta College women’s basketball team loses to Barstow at Allan Hancock Tournament

By Tribune staff

The injuries are beginning to pile up for the Cuesta College women’s basketball team, which was missing three starters in a 60-49 loss to Barstow on Friday at the Allan Hancock Tournament.

Maci Branstetter (ankle) and Connor Storlie (concussion) were out, as was Boomie Pierre (suspended for violation of team rules).

Not that coach Ron Barba thinks that should matter.

“I’d never use that as an excuse,” Barba said. “I’m trying to impress on the team that no one is going to feel sorry for them. We went 23-8 last year and made the playoffs. Teams we play don’t care that we’ve got some injuries right now.”

Despite shooting 31 percent from the floor and 7 of 17 from the free-throw line, the Cougars got within six points with 2 minutes to play.

“I thought we played our best game since last Thursday; we’ve had a brutal schedule,” Barba said. “Throw out the first quarter, and I thought today was a great effort. We really started playing with effort and energy and started knocking our shots down.

“I thought our defense was way better today,” he added.

San Luis Obispo High grad Biba Kirschner had 20 points and five assists to lead the shorthanded Cougars (4-7).

“Biba is continuning to emerge. We’re pushing her,” Barba said.

Kendra Losa scored 13 points, and Templeton High grad Autumn Russell had seven points and 13 rebounds. Audrey Baeza added 11 rebounds, and Angelica Ramirez had five assists for Cuesta.

“I thought overall, we grew up some today,” Barba said. “We finally put up a fight today. I saw it in the second half.”

The Cougars travel to Huntington Beach to take on Orange Coast at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Orange Coast Tournament.