Last week the Santa Clara Bruins clawed their way out of a 15-point, third-quarter hole by going on a 14-0 run against Mountain View before ultimately losing 49-46. This past Tuesday the Bruins again found themselves down by double digits against Palo Alto, but were unable to sustain the same type of third-quarter momentum. Santa Clara did pull within four points early on in the third quarter after trailing by nine at the half, but that’s as close as they would get. The Vikings clamped down and took a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter.
“I thought our start was ok, I didn’t think it was that bad, but we just couldn’t shoot,” remarked Bruins Head Coach Deedee Kiyota. “We couldn’t find the basket, we didn’t have a very good offensive game and they seemed to get a basket every time they shot the ball.”
One of the positives for the Bruins was the defensive play from senior Yvette Delgado who came up with a couple of steals and forced a Palo Alto player into a backcourt violation.
“This season, both Yvette and Bianca [Gutierrez] have definitely stepped up defensively,” noted coach Kiyota. “We focused on that today in the locker room at halftime, talking about Yvette’s job defensively. But offensively too, she has picked it up a lot. I’m really proud of those two.”
With three senior starters from last season’s roster having graduated, Yvette Delgado has gone from a bench player to a starter this season. The extra minutes and responsibilities don’t seem to have phased her, as she appears more than ready for her spotlight. Yvonne Delgado couldn’t help but beam when talking about her sister joining her in the starting lineup this season.
“I think Yvette by far has the best defense on our team,” chimed Yvonne Delgado on her identical twin sister. “She always has this high intensity, she always wants to win. She’s really embraced the role as a captain and a starter this year.”
Similarly to last Tuesday’s loss against Mountain View, boxing out at both the offensive and defensive ends has been a struggle. With last season’s leading rebounder Katherine Knowles having graduated and six-foot-one freshman Maia Garcia still nursing a knee injury, it has made it extra tough for Santa Clara’s remaining bigs.
“It puts more pressure on our bigs because they are the ones typically rebounding,” noted Yvonne Delgado. “It’s harder for Dejah [Swanson] and Bianca to get rebounds when they are going up against girls who are six-one or six-two. I think once we get Maia back, it will balance things out for us.”
According to coach Kiyota, Garcia’s timetable for getting back on the floor will be sometime in the “later half” of the season. Until then, it appears that when facing the tougher competition in the De Anza League, Santa Clara will have to come up with extra strong shooting percentages in order to come out with some victories.