Los Altos GIRLS BASKETBALL CrowneD HACIENDA League Champions

By Damien Alvarado - Student Reporter

For the third straight year the Lady Conquerors have won the Hacienda League. Los Altos dominated West Covina in their final game of the regular season winning 70-39 Thursday night.

A great defensive performance in the first quarter from West Covina was not enough to keep up with the high powered Los Altos offense. Madelyn Roel and Daniel Pineda put on a show for Los Al scoring a combined 30 points in the win. Roel came off of a 33 point game against South Hills and picked up right where she left off.

Aggressive defense was the key for the Bulldogs early on as they held Los Al to just eight points with four minutes to go in the opening quarter. From there, Lady Conquerer junior guard Daniel Pineda went up strong on a put back miss, which drew a foul. She drained the free-throw for a 10-7 lead. Los Altos went on a 10-0 run after that and finished off the first quarter with a 20-12 lead.

Los Altos head coach Mark Nakamura was not happy with his team's first quarter performance. “Well what we were supposed to do from the get go was to play defense, so we just got a bit more physical and we took away their two best players. That actually got our running game going and we got in rhythm on offensively so our defense was key for us,” said Nakamura

The Conquerors efficiently moved the ball in the first half and made consistent stops on defense. Roel led all scorers with points 20 points and Pineda added 10 of her own in the win. Marissa Bustillos led West Covina with 16 points. Los Altos went into halftime with a 40-15 lead.

“Right now we have to take it one game at a time like we have been doing, and just practice as hard as we can, and see what happens," Roel said postgame.

The second half was all Los Al as the Lady Conquerors continued to dominate leading to a 70-39 blowout victory. With the win, Los Altos has now won the Hacienda League for the third straight year and will advance to the playoffs.

“I feel pretty great. Last year we shared it with Walnut, but this year we came out solo and I am just super proud of these girls, it’s overwhelming but it’s amazing at the same time, but of course we have to look forward to the CIF and see how far we get,” said Roel.

Los Altos will most likely have a first round game in the playoffs next week but this does not affect their goal to win a championship.

"It’s all about our defense and rebounding, we are a little smaller in the post but if we keep and keep playing defense we should be fine, Nakamura said.