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If a team keeps losing the ball it can't score, and the Valley Christian Academy girls kept turning the ball over in the first half Thursday night.

The Lions lost the ball on six of their first nine possessions, didn't score a basket in the first quarter and Bishop Diego eased to a 52-18 win in the first round of the I-Charge Tournament at VCA that the Lions are hosting.

"I told the girls that if you don't shoot the ball, you can't score," VCA coach Randy Stanford said afterward.

"We just had too many turnovers. We did a little better in the second half. We settled down some."

Bishop Diego moved to 4-4. VCA is 5-2.

The final score belied the Maxpreps.com rankings. The website ranked VCA 568th in the state and Bishop Diego 1,030th going in, but it was clear from the outset the Cardinals were more skilled and quicker.

"Going against a bigger school, it was a struggle for us," said Stanford. The Lions made four baskets.

The Cardinals had a player who could hit from outside, Taylor Pate, another who could drive to the basket quickly, Elliott Redkey, and that was far more than enough for the Santa Barbara-based team.

The Lions left Pate open on the left side a lot, and Pate responded by sinking seven 3-point shots, including five in the second half.

Pate finished with a game high 23 points. Redkey was the quickest player on the floor, and she consistently got to the basket. Redkey finished with 14 points. She scored four of her five baskets in the first half.

Redkey shot four second-half free throws and made them all.

Mayley DeBernardi led the Lions with seven points. She made two of the four VCA baskets, including her team's lone 3-point basket.

Julia De La Cruz scored nine points for the Cardinals.

In the first half, the Lions kept trying to get the ball to Jenna Mason in the high post and the Cardinals, double or triple-teaming Mason, kept stealing the ball.

The Lions didn't try that play as much in the second half and they got off more shots, though only two went in.

"We like to go high-low, and it wasn't there tonight," said Stanford.

VCA didn't get a basket until Lindsay Mikkelson banked in a long two-pointer at the 2:09 mark of the second quarter.

"We made a lot of bad passes," said Stanford. "We're young. We didn't play the way were capable of.

"Two of our players, Mayley and Grace (Cossa) were ill, and I didn't realize that until the game started."

VCA will play Coast Valley League rival Shandon at 6 p.m. Friday night in another tournament game.

"That should be a good game," said Stanford. "We beat them by four the last time we played them."

In other tournament action, Santa Maria defeated Carpinteria 70-10 and Coastal Christian defeated Carpinteria 45-27. The Shandon-La Verne Lutheran score was unavailable.

Seaside Sweet 16 Tournament

Righetti 61, Paso Robles 54

SEASIDE — When Righetti played Mountain League rival Paso Robles Dec. 20 at home in a non-league game, Righetti eased to an 81-43 win.

This time, the Warriors (6-3) had to rally from a 36-22 halftime deficit to get the best of the Bearcats (8-8) in a first-round game.

Righetti out-scored Paso Robles 22-9 in the third quarter and 17-9 in the fourth. Mercedes Arredondo scored nine of her 14 points for Righetti in the fourth quarter and made all four of her free throws then. Natalie Garcia made five of her seven fourth-quarter foul shots for Righetti in the fourth.

Alijah Paquet led Righetti's scoring with 18 points. Garcia had 15. Kim Buchanan tossed in a game high 22 points for the Bearcats, and Xena Stanko added 10.

Righetti will play a tournament game at 6 p.m. Friday night against an opponent to be determined.

Arvin Tournament

ARVIN — Orcutt Academy split two games at this tournament at Arvin High School, beating Frazier Mountain 64-20 and losing 40-36 to East Bakersfield. No details were available.

In other first-round girls tournament action, Porterville beat Pioneer Valley 50-32k in a battle of the Panthers at the Tulare Showcase, and San Francisco Mercy defeated St. Joseph 56-49 at the San Jose Del Mar Tournament.

Boys basketball

Santa Barbara's Garden Street Academy Comets came out on top against VCA in the opening game of the VCA I-Charge boys tournament

Playing in his first game for the VCA Lions, Dylan Fulton led the team with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Jamin Magness scored 12 and Andrew Sparlin added 10 points.

VCA (3-4) plays Lutheran when the tournament resumes on Friday.

Also at the VCA I-Charge Tournament, Coastal Christian beat Santa Barbara-based Providence 53-25 then edged Orcutt Academy 47-45. Shandon beat La Verne Lutheran 56-28.

In other tournament action, St. Joseph downed Tucson (Arizona) Marana 70-47 in the first round of the White Mountain Holiday Classic in Show Low Arizona, and Escondido defeated Pioneer Valley 54-33 at the Mt. Carmel Holiday Hoops Classic at Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego.

In the first round of the Santa Maria Holiday Hoop Tourney, Morro Bay defeated Hanford Sierra Pacific 67-53 in Pool A action, and McFarland downed Lindsay 46-38 in a Pool B game. Host Santa Maria's Pool A result against Bakersfield Mira Monte was not known at press time.

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