The San Marcos girls’ basketball team played its final preseason game Friday night, hosting Valencia at the Thunderhut. Valencia’s two-hour drive through the rain to Santa Barbara had little effect on the Vikings as they left with a 60-38 victory.

San Marcos coach Kristyn Miller saw some positives in the defeat, as the Royals (4-9) prepare to open Channel League play against Dos Pueblos on Tuesday.

“We did a relatively good job of continuing to pressure the ball and we kept our intensity up, despite being behind in the scoring column,” Miller said.

Miller also noted the Royals’ attention to rebounding. San Marcos had 36 rebounds in the game, led by 10 from Leanna Azoury.

The Royals were able to keep the game within reach in the first half behind the play of Lyndsay Pearson and Julie Nail. Pearson continually drove through the Valencia defense, finishing with eight points. Nail had an efficient night in post, finding open shots on the baseline to score 11.

The Vikings had some answers of their own, however, as guards Chelsey Hastigan and Lindsey Hill had a good shooting night from the outside while Starla Wright controlled the middle and scored on the inside.

While leading most of the game, Valencia extended a seven-point cushion to 20 in the fourth quarter. The Vikings created scoring opportunities off San Marcos turnovers and got to the free-throw line to put the game away. Valencia now stands at 11-5 on the season.

Earlier Friday evening, the Royals’ junior varsity squad opened its game with a 17-point first quarter and never trailed, beating the Valencia JV, 54-37. With the win, the San Marcos JV improved to 10-2 on the season.

Jeannette Mendoza put an exclamation point on the first half, knocking down a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded. Mendoza scored 17 of the Royals’ 31 points in the half and added two more to start the third quarter before leaving the game with a hand injury.

Marisa Unzueta scored 11 and Kelsey Brown and Kathy Soto each had eight.

San Marcos’ frosh/soph team also was a winner Friday evening. Coach Chris Foster called the Royals’ 46-24 win a “balanced attack” as three players tallied double-digits in the scorebook.

Jaritza Rodriguez led all players with 12 points while Leanne Fretz and Dominique O’Neill each scored 11.

All three San Marcos teams will open Channel League play Tuesday at Dos Pueblos. Frosh/soph plays at 4:15 p.m., JV plays at 5:45 p.m. and varsity plays at 7:30 p.m.

Alex Sheldon coaches San Marcos’ junior varsity girl’s basketball team.