Things went so well for Holy Family, which opened the tournament Saturday with a 33-29 loss to La Reina, that Siy wasn’t aware that the Gaels had blanked the Falcons in the third quarter after doing the same in the opening stanza.
“I knew we shut them out in the first quarter, but I wasn’t paying any attention to that in the third quarter,” said Siy, whose team held a 12-0 lead after the first quarter and a 21-4 halftime advantage. “We did well with our trapping defense.
“When we do that and we don’t commit any silly fouls, we are effective. It’s basically a one-three-one trap and they like to play it. When it’s run correctly, we can get steals and opportunities that can lead to quick layups. They finished their layups.”
A perfect example came when Holy Family sophomore guard Gaby Diaz recorded a steal near midcourt and scored on a layup to give the Gaels a 7-0 lead with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
East Valley (1-3) missed all eight of its first-quarter shots from the floor and committed seven turnovers.
East Valley, which began the tournament with a 57-24 loss to Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, finally scored on a layup by senior center Ebany Diaz with 6:58 left in the second quarter.
Diaz’s basket cut Holy Family’s lead to 14-2. Diaz finished with four points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Otherwise, Holy Family had the game in control from the opening tip-off.
“We were able to set the tone early,” Siy said. “We did a good job of that.
“We knew coming in that we had to play good defense and anticipate getting the steals.”
The Gaels, who finished fourth in the Horizon League last season, received 10 points and three steals apiece from senior guard Shabby Talab and junior forward Clarizza Merino. Holy Family also got eight points, eight rebounds and a game-best six steals from Diaz and eight points and four steals from sophomore forward Elena Lomeli.
Talab converted on a three-point play to give the Gaels a 29-4 lead with 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Falcons misfired on all seven of their third-quarter shots.
Siy expects Holy Family’s remaining opponents in the tournament to be tougher across the board.
“It’s only going to get harder,” said Siy, who received four points, four assists and five steals from junior forward Gayle Lachica and four points from freshman guard Samantha Moreno. “We want to get to [the consolation final], and to get there, we are going to have to get by some tough teams.”