Soquel delivers “team effort” in win over Menlo

Soquel girls coach John Wilson called Tuesday night’s win over Menlo a “team effort,” which is often considered coach speak. But the amount of different contributors in the Knights’ win at ND-Belmont was impressive.

This wasn’t one player going off for a double-digit scoring effort. In fact, nobody on Soquel finished in double digits. Ragine Graves had a team-high of nine points, although her swipe on a breakaway in the final minute that prevented Menlo from taking the lead was huge.

Tyler Stewart had eight points, six of which came in the fourth quarter on a pair of 3-pointers. Tori McBride had a pair of clutch free throws in the final seconds to ice the game.

And then there was the defense, which was highlighted by Marissa Azua. She was guarding Menlo’s Drew Edelman, who was listed at 6-foot-4 but looked so much more imposing on the court. Azua had help, like Graves and Keahna Clark, and everyone played a tight, physical game.

Watching Azua and Edelman go at it in the paint, off the ball, was a lot of fun to watch, too. Lots of elbows and pushing — nothing flagarent, just physical basketball.

It was an impressive, gutsy win by Soquel. Honestly, I didn’t think they would pull it out, not after seeing Edelman’s size before the game, and especially not after seeing Edelman score 15 points through the first three quarters.

But the Knights silenced Edelman in the final period to escape with a victory. They’ll play Mercy-SF in Friday’s title game. Being able to watch bits of Mercy’s game against ND-Belmont, Mercy is a team Soquel can beat, although it will take another team effort.

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