Wallace, Warriors work over Flashes

Caitlin Wallace carried Carpinteria’s girls basketball team in Thursday’s CIF Div. IV-A playoff opener, scoring a game-high 25 points to lead the Warriors into the second round with a 49-46 victory over Fillmore.

Wallace’s solid game was especially important because co-captain Amanda Burch was forced to the bench early in the third quarter with her fourth foul. At that point, the Warriors trailed the Flashes 23-22.

“It was a great team win because we won with Burch on the bench,” said Warriors head coach Dan Mercer. “I’ve said it before and it sounds like a broken record. This team has more heart and courage than any I can recall in recent memory.”

Carpinteria was able to maintain until Burch returned in the fourth quarter with the game tied 31-31. Burch knocked down two free throws 14 seconds after checking into the game and finished with nine points in the quarter and 15 in the game.

“I was just ancy, I needed to get back out there,” Burch said.

A 3-pointer from Burch gave Carpinteria its biggest lead of the game at 44-39 with a little over two minutes remaining. But Yesenia Avila answered right back with a 3-pointer for the Flashes followed by two free throws by Jazzmin Galvez to tie the game.

Carpinteria starter Mirina DeLeon fouled out on Galvez’s first trip to the line and Mercer chose to insert freshman Erin Saito in crunch time. Saito was in the thick of things, finding herself at the free-throw line and the Warriors up two with 41 seconds on the clock.

Saito made the first of two to give Carpinteria a 49-46 lead, which would stand till the buzzer.

“I was proud of her because I remember when I was a freshman on varsity. I’d never imagine of playing in a CIF game so I was proud of her for holding it together,” Burch said.

As a team, the Warriors got to the line 35 times, connecting 23 times.

“I felt like down the stretch it all depended them. It was a free-throw game between us and Fillmore,” said Wallace. “Every free throw counted.”

Wallace and Burch put in their time at the line in the second quarter, converting 11-of-12 between the two of them.

Carpinteria also benfitted from 21 steals, 15 of which came in the second half. Wallace had seven alone while Burch had five and Sierra Freeman four.

On top of being a playoff victory, the win is also sweet for the Warriors because Fillmore handed them a 53-43 loss in January.

Saturday’s second-round matchup is a tall order for Carpinteria as they face No. 1-seed Bell-Jeff. Tip-off is 7 p.m. in Los Angeles.


FILLMORE – Morino 15, Avila 6, Ayala 18, C. Meza 4, Wilber 1, M. Meza 2. Totals – 16 FG, 12-21 FT, 46.

CARPINTERIA – Leonard 4, DeLeon 4, Wallace 25, Saito 1, Burch 15. Totals – 12 FG, 23-35 FT, 49

Fillmore  12  11  6  17 – 46

Carpinteria  4  13  14 18 – 49

3-ptrs – F 2 (Avila 2), C 2 (Wallace, Burch). Total Fouls – F 22, C 21. Fouled Out – Avila, DeLeon