by: PHIL HAWKINS - Freshman guard Andrea Villegas led the Lady Cats with a game-high 13 points, helping to lead Gervais to a 35-15 road victory over the Horizon Christian Hawks on Friday.The Gervais girls basketball team put their first notch in the win column Friday night after dominating the Horizon Christian Hawks in a 35-15 victory.

The Lady Cats, which had lost their first nine games of the 2013-14 season, had been steadily playing better offensively leading up to the win, but it was the team’s defensive effort that ultimately sealed the deal Friday night.

The two teams played a relatively even game through the first quarter of play, with Gervais taking an 8-6 advantage into the second quarter.

But the Lady Cats put their clamps on the Horizon Christian offense for the next two periods, limiting the Hawks to just two points combined in the second and third quarters, respectively, as the team built a 29-8 advantage heading into the final period.

Freshman guard Andrea Villegas scored 10 of her game-high 13 points in the crucial second and third quarters, and finished the day with two buckets from 3-point range.

She was joined by junior Cassidy Rush, who scored six points, including 4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line.

Gervais (1-9, 1-1 West Valley) entered the game surrenduring more than 55 points per game in their first nine contests before shutting down Horizon Christian (2-8, 0-2 West Valley).

The victory reprsents the team’s best defensive performance in more than two years, since opening the 2011-12 season with a 45-5 victory over the Delphian Dragons.

Earlier in the week, Gervais opened their West Valley league schedule with a 45-24 loss at Colton (6-6, 1-1 West Valley) on Jan. 7.

The Lady Cats couldn’t overcome a 14-3 deficit after the first quarter, as the host Vikings slowly pulled away for the victory.

Rush led the team with nine points, while sophomore post Jelayna Bastidas was second on the team in scoring with seven. Zina Oral added four points in the loss.

Gervais was scheduled to play Sheridan (1-8, 0-2) Monday night before hosting Westside Christian (4-6, 2-0) Wednesday in the Lady Cats’ league home opener.

Gervais finishes the week on the road against Dayton (5-6, 1-1) on Friday.

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