Sports

With league winding down, Modesto Christian girls still going all out

Sonora's Hannah Blume, left, and Sierra's Ariel McCintyre fight for possesion Thursday.  Sonora won the Valley Oak League tilt 39-38.
Sonora's Hannah Blume, left, and Sierra's Ariel McCintyre fight for possesion Thursday. Sonora won the Valley Oak League tilt 39-38. Modesto Bee

SALIDA -- With a Trans-Valley League title in the bag and the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs two weeks away, Robb Spencer is still finding ways to motivate Modesto Christian High's girls basketball team.

"We're really working hard on the little things, like boxing out so there are no second shots and running different sets on offense and defense," he said. "I keep raising the bar for the girls. I tell them 'It's not about who we play, but how we play.' "

The Crusaders met the challenge Thursday, as sophomore Brandi Henton and 6-foot junior center Lauren Lucchesi teamed up to lead The Bee's top-ranked small-school team past Riverbank 86-15.

Henton had 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists and seven steals, while Lucchesi dominated inside with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Lucchesi scored 14 in the first quarter, leading MC to a 31-6 lead.

Guard Stefani Agostini had nine assists for the Crusaders, while freshman Danielle Thompson -- averaging six points a game -- scored 12.

"Stefani is our smartest player and our best shooter, but she found a groove tonight and kept getting the ball to open teammates," said Spencer, whose team finished with 28 assists on 37 baskets and 23 steals. "We've got to keep getting better before the playoffs get here."

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