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NBL girls basketball: Santander’s 20 points lead Casa Grande

By HOWARD SENZELL
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

PETALUMA — Brooke Santander scored 20 points, half of those in the first two minutes, as Casa Grande defeated visiting Windsor, 50-42, in a North Bay League game Tuesday night.

It was the second straight game the junior has reached the 20-point plateau. She scored 25 in a loss to Cardinal Newman last Friday.

“My focus is to be more aggressive,” Santander said. “I’m not looking to shoot more, but if I have a good shot, I’m going to take it.”

She opened the game by swishing a pair of 3-point shots and then scored two more goals.

After the quick start, the Gauchos never trailed. However, they did have a few anxious moments — like the 10-minute scoring drought that spanned the end of the first quarter and the first seven minutes of the second.

“We just got out of sync, but we didn’t let ourselves get down,” Santander said. “At halftime, we talked about spreading the court on offense and by doing that we got going again.”

To the Jaguars’ credit, they didn’t give up after falling behind by double digits early. In fact, they cut the lead to one (27-26) with 1:22 left in the third quarter on two free throws by Kerianne Noonan.

However, from that point to the end of the game, Windsor was outscored 23-16.

“Fortunately we started at a good tempo and were ready to play,” winning coach Dan Sack said. “I settled the girls down at halftime and we got the offense going again.

“I think there’s a two-fold reason Santander has started to score more. One, she’s feeling more comfortable in the role of scorer and two, her teammates are getting a sense of where she is and get her the ball.”

Windsor coach Jeff Paul praised his team for playing hard.

“We were tentative at the start and Casa took advantage of that to open a big lead,” he said.

“To the girls’ credit, they played hard and got back in the game.”

Noonan, one of the best players in the Redwood Empire, finished with 20 points. The junior scored 15 in the second, eight of those points coming from the foul line.

Andrea Flinn also finished in double figures for the Jaguars as she scored 12.

Point guard Lyndsey Murnin finished with a dozen for Casa, despite sitting out much of the second half because of foul trouble.

Casa Grande’s record is now 8-7 while Windsor is 9-4. Both teams are 2-1 in league.