Cate used a trapping defense to start fast on Thursday night at Carpinteria, taking a 17-2 first-quarter lead on the way to a 61-21 non-league victory in girls basketball action.

Sophomore Meena Baher scored 14 points and made five steals in the first half as the Rams built a 27-7 advantage. Baher topped Cate with 24 points.

“Out of the gate, we pressured the Warriors with a relentless trap defense that generated deflections and steals,” said Cate coach Laura Moore. “Led by seniors Maya Blattberg, Piper Brooks and Jess Yang, we capitalized on their opponents turnovers to quickly establish a 10-0 lead.

“We  also had important offensive contributions from seniors Dana Huston-Chen and Maya Fenelon,” noted Moore. “We played a close-to-perfect team game.”

Blattberg scored 10 of her 15 points in the third quarter when the Rams scored a season-high 22 points.

Carpinteria’s Hannia Hernandez knocked down four 3’s in the second half and finished with 15 points.

“Cate was strong offensively with a real size advantage,” said Carpinteria coach Benti Delacruz. “We struggled to hit our shots in the first half. Near the end of the third quarter and throughout the fourth, junior Hannia Hernandez caught fire and hit four shots from behind the arc.”

Cate will play a rivalry game at Thacher on Saturday at 6 p.m. while the Warriors will host St. Genevieve.