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St. Helena girls basketball

St. Helena junior Marylu Avina drives to the basket against Rio Vista in the first round of the Lady Saints Invitational on Thursday. 

ST. HELENA – Following the St. Helena High girls basketball team’s 47-41 loss at the hands of Rio Vista High in the opening round of the Lady Saints Invitational on Thursday night, the hosts bowed 39-17 to Ferndale High on Friday night.

The defeat dropped the Saints to 2-3 on the season.

The game was never in doubt as Ferndale (4-1), led by Bryleigh Busick’s game-high 14 points, cruised to a commanding 17-4 halftime lead and never looked back.

Daphne Steele and Gabrielle Vega led St. Helena’s offensive attack with four points each. Citlali Garcia scored three points, while Lisa Lord, Zoey Long, and Marylu Rodriguez – who played despite an injured thumb – contributed two points apiece.

Saints head coach Darol Smith noted his team was shorthanded Friday night, with point guard Jovana Rodriguez and Lauren Ridgeway absent due to illness.

Following Friday’s contest, Smith praised his team for its determined effort, but acknowledged its offensive performance left him and his players in a state of frustration.

“The effort tonight was equally as good (as Thursday night’s),” Smith said.

When it came to discussing his team’s offensive performance, Smith didn’t mince words.

“We’re not a good shooting team anyway, but this is maybe our worst shooting game (of the season),” he said.

St. Helena came back on Saturday and defeated the JV team from Elsie Allen, 52-32, in the seventh-place game.

The game was never in doubt as the Saints (3-3) led throughout, cruising to a 28-13 halftime lead and increased the advantage to 40-20 at the end of the third quarter.

“They played hard. Everybody got to play,” said Smith.

In addition to getting playing time, all nine players on the Saints’ active roster scored at least two points.

Steele led the Saints’ offensive attack with 12 points, and Andrea Hernandez scored seven. Elizabeth Garcia scored her first six points of the season. Lord also had six points and was selected to the all-tournament team.

Vega also had six points, Marylu Rodriguez scored five, Citlali Garcia and Long contributed four points each, and Sharon Lagunos had two.

Samantha Holguin led Elsie Allen (1-8) with 15 points.

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