Santa Ana women’s basketball looked like a team to be feared in their third game of the season. From the opening tipoff, they were surgical and more physical than their opponent, Grossmont College.
Their home debut turned out to be a 21-point rout, winning by a final of 71-50.
“I feel great because we’re playing together. We’re playing as a team,” said Dons head coach Flo Luppani. “We are doing the things that we practice. We’re doing the things that we do as a program.”
The Dons are on a hot start, winning their first three games of the season by a combined total of 72 points. They aren’t just winning. They’re blowing out the competition.
During Wednesday’s game, Santa Ana’s defense smothered Grossmont, forcing 24 turnovers while also out-rebounding them 46-33. Grossmont couldn’t get a good shot over Santa Ana, forcing them to shoot 35% for the game and only 25% from the 3-point line.
“Our team understands that defense carries us to our wins,” said Luppani, “we started aggressive, so that set the tempo for us, and we dictated the game.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the Dons were led by guards Selena Hernandez and Larissa Robles. Hernandez tallied 23 points while sinking four 3-pointers, and Robles earned a double-double with 15 points and ten assists.
Despite the dominant team performance, there is room for improvement.
“I thought we were a little sloppy, and I think the team understands that we didn’t execute as well as we could have,” said Luppani.
The team will now go on a three-game road trip against opponents Hartnell, Monterey Peninsula, and Cuesta.
“I think it’s going to be a good test. You have to be able to face the unknown,” Coach Luppani commented about the upcoming trip, “I think we’re going to prepare [the team] as well as we can.”
The Dons won’t return home until Nov. 30, when they host three games in the Santa Ana Tournament.
“We’re looking at one game at a time,” said Luppani. “So I’m proud of them for approaching it as a team, and I think that’s what’s defining for us.”