Yucaipa’s Lucy Land heads upcourt at a recent game.

The Yucaipa High girls basketball team, following a mid-season slump during which it lost five of six games, has snapped out of it. The Thunderbirds on Wednesday, Jan. 5, defeated visiting Redlands 73-20 for their fourth victory in five games. The triumph came in the Citrus Belt League opener for both teams. “I feel really good,” said Yucaipa’s Lucy Land who led all scorers with 17 points. “We’re getting better. We have a better bond now. And we’re figuring out different ways to put the ball in the basket.” Yucaipa (9-7 overall, 1-0 in league) led 19-0 after one quarter. Redlands (5-4, 0-1) finally got on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer by Rusaiana Jackson. But then the Thunderbirds scored the last 11 points of the half to take a 30-3 lead into the break. Redlands moved the ball better in the third quarter and Grace Gaston heated up. She made three 3-pointers and scored nine of her team-leading 12 points in the period which ended 61-17. Besides Land’s big night, Saela Wardlow scored 14 points for Yucaipa, Ashley Urban and MJ Jacques contributed 10 points apiece, Haley Dominguez scored six points, Alyanna Caston chipped in with five points and Lyann Rabadi had three. Jackson and Michelle Harianja scored three points each for Redlands to complement Gaston’s double-figure scoring effort. “I thought our effort was good,” Redlands coach Bob Stangel Jr. said. “Yucaipa’s size and athleticism was apparent. I like the direction we are trending. We just need to start playing at the same tempo that the Cajons and Yucaipa play at.” Said Yucaipa coach Jeremy Hoch, “We were trying to not get too sloppy. We don’t want to get into a lot of bad habits like reaching for the ball and getting a steal when next game we’ll reach for it and get beat.” Yucaipa’s game at Cajon on Friday, Jan. 7 was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.


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