The defense of the San Marcos girls basketball team led it a championship at the Arvin Holiday Tournament on Saturday.
The Royals smothered Kern Valley, 41-14, to take the Bronze Division title. They beat Atascadero, 24-23, in a morning semifinal.
The title is the first for a San Marcos girls basketball team in 10 years, according to coach Aaron Solis.
Ashley Day scored 15 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made four steals to pace San Marcos. Fran Pereira had eight points and 10 boards in the championship game. Day and Pereira were named to the all-tournament team.
“Ashley and Fran, along with Piper Nielsen and Lily Poehler, did a great job all tournament long battling against players bigger than them,” said Solis. “Our guards did a great job in the last game taking care of the ball and pressuring their guards. It was an amazing team victory.”
In the semifinal game, the Royals overcame a struggling offense with a strong defensive performance against a bigger Atascadero team.
“We were up, then down, then up, then down. But we held them to two points in the fourth quarter and were able to squeak out the win. The team showed great heart and never panicked,” said Solis.
The four wins in two days at the tournament give San Marcos a 14-2 record.
“Very proud of this team,” said Solis. “To be 14-2 at this point in the season and already be playoff eligible is a great step. Now we have to prepare for league, which is going to be entirely different than the tournament season. Can’t wait to see what we can do.”