Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Aragon’s Alyssa Mangaoang glides in for a layup during the Dons’ 54-42 win over
Lincoln-San Francisco Tuesday night.
The Aragon girls’ basketball team appears to have the pieces to make some noise in the Peninsula Athletic League’s South Division.
Good thing for the Dons that the PAL season doesn’t start for another month, for as much talent as the Dons seem to have, it’s going to take some time for it to gel.
That much was evident Tuesday night as Aragon hosted Lincoln-San Francisco. Despite some offensive lulls, the Dons managed to come away with a 54-42 victory.
“I’m glad we pulled it out,” said Aragon coach Annette Gennaro-Trimble. “We’re still making mistakes we shouldn’t be making.”
Considering Aragon (2-2 overall) starts a freshman and a pair of sophomores, it may take a little bit of time for the Dons to find the consistency necessary to be a player for the PAL South Division title.
“We just need to be more consistent. It’s been up and down,” said Gennaro-Trimble. “I think that will come. Preseason will be a huge learning curve for us.”
The Dons were led by their starting sophomores — Brianna Reynolds and Maya Collins — who each scored 12 points. Alyssa Mangaoang and Tiffany Chen each added nine points apiece, while forward Christina Garcia-Rotella pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Aragon got off to a slow start as Lincoln scored the first two buckets of the game.
But Garcia-Rotella got a putback bucket to crack the seal for the Dons and it ignited an 18-3 run. Collins knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during the run, while Alyson Oross pulled down a pair of offensive rebounds and converted putbacks during the spurt that saw Aragon hold an 18-7 lead after one quarter.
Then the drought hit. Reynolds hit a driving layup to put the Dons up 20-10 early in the second quarter, but it would be their last points for more than four minutes.
Lincoln, meanwhile, chipped away at the Aragon lead. When Pamela Amaechi stole the ball and went in converted a layup, the Mustangs trailed by just one, 20-19, with 3:41 to play in the second quarter.
The Dons got a steal and layup from Reynolds to stem the tide and Aragon ended the half on a 7-0 run — including a 3-pointer from Mangaoang with two seconds left — to give the Dons a 29-21 lead at halftime.
The Dons started the third quarter on fire and appeared poised to put Lincoln away. Aragon opened the second half with a 13-4 run to push its lead to 42-25 with 4:47 left in the third — and then converted only one bucket the rest of the quarter.
During that opening spurt, however, the Dons did basically whatever they wanted. They got couple of baskets off dribble penetration and capped it with back-to-back 3s from Chen and Reynolds.
Despite Aragon’s shooting woes over the final four minutes of the quarter, Lincoln could not take full advantage. The Mustangs managed only six points during the Dons’ cold spell and still trailed 44-31 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs tried to make a run over the final eight minutes and while they pressured and harassed the Dons into seven fourth-quarter turnovers, they just did not have enough firepower to overcome the deficit.
Lincoln got as close as 47-40 with 3:49 to play, but the Dons iced the game at the free throw line, hitting on 7 of 10 attempts from the line over the final 3:19.
“It’s a work in progress,” Gennaro-Trimble said. “They’re all still trying to find their niches.”