BUENA PARK— Susan Valdez saw a perfect opportunity to make a play. With her team coming all the way back to trail by only four, Valdez reached on a dribble by Buena Park’s Destiny Ortiz, but instead of stealing the ball, Valdez was called for a foul. Valdez fouled out on the play, and Ortiz drilled the two free throws to put the Fullerton Indians away Friday night.
Ortiz and the Coyotes (10-5, 1-1) were able to win their first league game after dropping their league opener to Sonora.
Ortiz recorded 20 points against Fullerton while junior guard Sara Weber led Buena Park with 21 points.
Susan Valdez scored 14 for the Indians while Vanessa Martinez recorded a double-double with a team high 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Fullerton (1-15, 0-2) ell behind early and quick as Buena Park opened the game on an 8-0 run and ended the first quarter up 20-4. Fullerton was able to stay with Buena Park as they trailed 30-17 at halftime.
Fullerton Head Coach Bryan Kennebrew believed his team was still in the game.
“We told them to just come out and play ball,” Kennebrew said.
Kennebrew’s team came out of the half and started the second half on an 8-2 run led by Vanessa Martinez and found themselves down 40-30 going into the final quarter.
It was the fourth quarter where Fullerton clawed themselves back into the game. Weber nailed a 3-pointer to put the Coyotes up 50-43, but after Valdez made some shots and Buena Park missed some free throws, Fullerton got the score to 51-47, the lowest deficit they faced since the opening quarter.
Once Valdez fouled out with 43 seconds and Ortiz hit two free throws to make it 53-47, Fullerton could not get any more offense before losing 54-47.
Kennebrew was happy about his team’s second half performance.
“This game taught us that we can play,” Kennebrew said. “We beat them for three quarters tonight, we just need to play four [quarters] now.”
Fullerton will return home next week for their third league game against Troy Tuesday night.