The Volcano Vista girls basketball team opened its run at a second straight state championship with a 72-28 win over 16th-seeded Santa Fe Friday night at Volcano Vista High School in the first round of Class 5A state basketball tournament.
Top-seeded Volcano improved to 26-0 this season and has won 39 straight games dating back to last year’s COVID-shortened championship campaign.
Volcano opened the game with a 13-0 scoring run before allowing Santa Fe to creep back into the game in the second quarter and get within three points.
“We haven’t played for a while, so we started off a little aggressive,” Volcano Vista head coach Lisa Villareal said. “We started fouling early, and it wasn’t our plan but we knew that the press, if it doesn’t kick in the first quarter, we know it’s going to kick in the second or the second half. We just gotta let it work itself. The girls were relentless.”
Once the Hawks’ patented press defense kicked in, it was over for Santa Fe. Volcano Vista led 39-21 at halftime and outscored Santa Fe 19-0 in the third quarter.
It was the 17th game this season where Volcano allowed fewer than 30 points.
The Hawks did get a scare when star senior Jaelyn Bates went down early in the third quarter clutching her leg, but Villareal said she is fine.
“It’s a cramp,” Villareal said. “We haven’t seen one of those from her in a while. It was scary but once we saw her curl up and tighten up, we’re like yeah, she’s good.”
Bates scored 15 points, with 12 coming in the first half. Natalia Chavez added 16 points and Taejhuam Hill added 21.
The Hawks will host No. 8 Centennial Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the quarterfinals.