No Problem For Guards!

February 26, 2010 by  

BELLARMINE-JEFFERSON HIGH — Bell-Jeff defense steps up in 65-17 second- round CIF playoff win against Carpinteria.

Jasmine Smith was an important contributor last season on a Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball team that captured CIF Southern Section and state championships.

This year, the sophomore has stepped up her game, and if she has anything to do with it, the Guards are headed in the right direction to repeat.

In a Division IVA second-round game Saturday against Carpinteria, Smith led the charge as the Guards played suffocating defense en route to a 65-17 rout of Carpinteria at Bell-Jeff.

Smith, who as part of Coach Bryan Camacho’s frequent rotation, didn’t play the whole game, came up with a game-high 20 points to go along with 12 rebounds and five steals.Click here to find out more! The No. 1-seeded Guards (23-5) played at home after receiving a bye for the first round.

“Since this was our first game, we were really anxious to get going in the playoffs,” Smith said. “We are really focused as a team this year and we are working our hardest to get another ring.”

The win puts the Guards in the quarterfinals. Bell-Jeff will have a 7 p.m. home game today against Marymount.

Marymount (18-11), the No. 10 seed and Sunshine League champion, defeated Morro Bay, 59-41, Saturday in a second-round game.

The Guards and Sailors are former Sunshine League opponents.

In the first quarter alone against Carpinteria, Smith had 10 points, five rebounds and five steals.

“We are really playing as a team, and that’s why we’ve been able to be successful so far,” Smith said.

Although its offense was running on all cylinders, it was Bell-Jeff’s defense that was able to overwhelm Carpinteria (16-10). The Guards helped force 34 turnovers, as the Warriors were never in the game.

“Our defense is a result of hard work and persistence from the girls,” Bell-Jeff Coach Bryan Camacho said. “It is something we work on a great deal and we’ve been fortunate to get the most out of it.”

The Guards came out playing a swarming pressure defense. The pressure helped force 18 first-quarter turnovers by the Warriors. As a result, Bell-Jeff jumped out to a 22-2 lead after one quarter.

In the quarter, the Warriors converted just one of their eight shots from the field.

Carpinteria was hampered by poor shooting throughout the entire game, as the team was just seven of 47 from the floor.

The Guards settled back into a half-court defense in the second half. Despite easing up on the pressure, Bell-Jeff enjoyed a 42-6 advantage at the half.

Bell-Jeff sophomore Rishonda Napier had 18 points and five steals and Margeaux Gupilan had 10 points and five steals.

Carpinteria’s high scorer was senior Amanda Burchm, who tallied eight of her team’s 17 points.

To prevent the game from being even more lopsided, under CIF rules the fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

“The girls were a little nervous before the game, being their first playoff game,” Camacho said. “But they were able to settle down and I thought that we were able to do a lot of the things we’ve been working on.”

If the Guards are victorious today against Marymount they will play in a semifinal game next Saturday at an alternate site. The division final is scheduled for March 4-6.

By Jeff Tully

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