HANFORD — It was an error-filled 32 minutes for the Huskies on Wednesday as they lost their second game in a row, 73-57, to Tulare Union.
“The biggest factor tonight was our turnovers,” Hanford West coach Torreya Edwards said. “Every single time we came down the court it was a throwaway. We’re not valuing the ball.”
Now 2-6 on the season, the Huskies are still learning how to play as a unit. In addition to being plagued by turnovers Wednesday night, communication issues were a problem on the court. At times, players were out of position or not in sync on certain plays.
“We just got to improve working together more,” Hanford West guard Taylor Whitfield said. “There’s new players on the varsity, so we just need to get together as a team, but we’re doing good from the beginning of the year until now. We’re really improving.”
Jaslin Legarreta hit a 3-pointer to give the Huskies a 6-4 lead with 5:01 left in the first quarter. It was the only lead of the game for the Huskies and it lasted 21 seconds before Tulare Union closed the quarter on a 17-6 run.
Trailing 21-12 to start the second quarter, the Huskies struggled to make accurate passes and turnovers in the half court allowed the Tribe to get easy buckets in transition as they started on an 8-0 run. The Huskies had no answer on offense and fell behind 35-14.
“Free throws, layups, all the easy things that will win us over, we did not execute tonight,” Edwards said. “It’s a deal-breaker. That’s why we’re not winning ball games. We come out with a plan [and] we’re not executing the plan.”
They did have a couple of good stretches in the first half. A 6-0 run cut the lead to 15 and an 8-1 run made it a13-point game in the second quarter, but they couldn’t sustain their offense. Hanford West trailed 44-28 at halftime.
“We started pressing and putting pressure on and when we did do that we were able to get tips and deflections and it came back as easy layups we were able to score,” Hanford West guard Kolbi Adams said.
The second half started promising with the Huskies on a 6-2 run with baskets by Mary Shoals and Legarreta. Chelene Howard and Whitfield each split a pair of free throws to make it a 12-point game (46-34).
But the same problems reared their head the rest of the way. An inability to hold onto the ball and a defense, which allowed the Tribe to shoot away downed the Huskies. They trailed 63-45 after the third quarter.
Kolbi Adams was a bright spot for the Huskies. The junior led the team with 17 points and hit three 3-pointers — all in the second half — while also finding her teammates in space and putting them in a good position to shoot the ball.
Whitfield scored 16 points and Jaslin Legarreta added 12 points as the third Husky in double figures. A’Khalia Turner and Shoals each scored four points.
Although the season has been a challenge so far, the Huskies are staying positive.
“We’re on an uphill run right now and our goal is to get better just like any other team,” Adams said. “It’s not going to be easy. We got to work for it. It’s not just going to come. We just got to work hard and we’ll get there.”
The Huskies (2-6) have a quick turnaround with the Central High tournament beginning Thursday and ending on Saturday.