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Girls basketball: Monarch stays perfect with win over Centaurus

Rosin posts team-most 21 points

Centaurus' Ann Spence goes up for the shot as Monarch's Hayley Luther goes up for the block.
Centaurus’ Ann Spence goes up for the shot as Monarch’s Hayley Luther goes up for the block.
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LAFAYETTE — Monarch girls basketball hasn’t experienced the sweet taste of a home game yet, and it won’t until the first week of January. That hasn’t stopped the Coyotes from taking down every single team they’ve faced as they improved to 4-0 with a 62-49 victory at Centaurus on Monday night.

Monarch junior Amelia Rosin didn’t seem to mind, as she exploded offensively and used her height to her advantage in the post to put up 21 points. Junior Natalie Guanella and senior Jiovana DeBaise followed Rosin’s lead as they added 14 and 10 more points, respectively. On the other side of the ball, Centaurus junior Laura Gensert dominated with 22 points.

The Guanella-to-Rosin pipeline was hard to guard for the Warriors all night long.

“This was a really good matchup because (Centaurus) is a really good team and they’re going to make us work,” Rosin said. “They didn’t make it an easy game at all, so it was a good testament to our team. The connection (with Guanella) is great because we almost don’t have to talk. We know what we’re going to do. We know the reads and we work really well together.”

Centaurus’ Page Sanchez and Ann Spence proved to be natural-born thieves as they secured steal after steal from the Coyotes. That, along with a large outside presence, helped the Warriors stay in the contest up until the last few minutes.

Throughout much of the matchup, both teams utilized strong communication and ball movement to try to gain an advantage over each other. Their defensive and offensive strategies, however, differed as the Coyotes drove the post more and excelled at drawing fouls near the glass. The Warriors, on the other hand, relied on that kleptomania to keep their guests from getting to the basket too much.

Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com
Centaurus’ Ann Spence drives the ball down the court as Monarch’s Ella Packard tries to defend her.

“I think everyone was intimidated going into (the game), playing a (Class) 5A team that has a lot of titles and recognition in our community,” Gensert said. “Even though we didn’t win, I’m proud of the way we played because I think everyone was able to push through that fear. We had some really nice plays, even though it wasn’t enough to get us a win.”

The Coyotes’ various trips to the foul line during the first half helped them build up a sizable 30-20 lead going into the break and they only grew it from there. That is, until Gensert scored eight quick points — including two 3-pointers — for the Warriors to pull them back within single digits, 39-33, near the end of the third quarter.

“I felt like we made a lot of nice plays tonight. Unfortunately, we kind of backed them up with not-so-nice plays. Hats off to Monarch because they completely executed when we had to change tactics,” Centaurus head coach Chris Mischke said. “(Mike Blakely)’s got a really nice team over there, but we clearly competed with them. I know the score wasn’t necessarily indicative of that. He’s calling timeouts in the second half, so he knows we came to battle.”

The ladies battled it out until the very end as Monarch inched away from its host. Centaurus fell to 1-2 on the season with the loss and will head next to Mountain View on Dec. 14 as Monarch prepares for a neutral-site tournament on Wednesday.

One of these days, the Coyotes will get to play at home. In the meantime, Blakely likes what he’s seeing from his girls.

“If you’re going to be a good playoff team, you’ve got to be good on the road,” he said. “We want to be a good playoff team. It starts with winning some road games. When I first saw the schedule, I thought, ‘Geez, I hope we win enough to make the playoffs.’ If you can get through that tough schedule, then you know that you’re at least getting ready for something. I feel like we’re starting to get ready for something.”

Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com
Monarch’s Natalie Guanella drives to the basket as Centaurus’ Alexa Lorton tries to defend her.

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