Warrior girls basketball struggling with leads; wins game against El Camino, 62-45

In terms of records alone, Fallbrook High School’s 2012-13 girls basketball team hasn’t improved over the 2011-12 Lady Warriors. Fallbrook’s close league losses this season in games the Warriors led are likely more frustrating than last year’s close losses in which the Warriors narrowed their deficit. But just being in the lead in those close league games could be considered an improvement.

“This year’s games we were actually ahead in a few in the fourth quarter,” said Fallbrook coach Dan Bachman. “Learning to play with a lead is something we’re going to have to understand.”

The 2011-12 Warriors finished with a 12-13 overall record, including a 1-9 mark in Avocado East League play. The 2012-13 squad equaled that overall loss figure with two games remaining; the 10-13 overall statistic included a 1-7 Avocado West League record.

“Although we’re 10 and 13 we had a more difficult schedule,” Bachman said.

Fallbrook’s 11-4 pre-league mark in 2011-12 included a 4-1 record in the Imperial Valley Tournament as well as the tournament championship and a 3-1 record in the Tri-City Tournament. This year, the Warriors played in different tournaments, finishing 2-3 in the North County Classic and 2-2 in the Southern California Holiday Classic. One of the advantages of an out-of-town tournament is that the road trip is used for team bonding; this season Fallbrook’s overnight travel consisted of Dec. 21 and 22 road games which produced a 43-30 win over Big Bear High School and a 70-20 victory over Lake Arrowhead’s Rim of the World High School.

The Warriors entered the 2013 league season with a 9-6 record. “We had a pretty decent schedule in terms of difficulty,” Bachman said.

Fallbrook matched its previous season’s record of 1-4 during the first round of league play. This year’s league win was a 58-43 home victory Jan. 18 against Carlsbad, although the Lancers reduced a 40-11 halftime deficit.

On Jan. 25, the Warriors lost to El Camino in overtime on the Wildcats’ court. “We didn’t feel we played great that game,” Bachman said.

The Warriors followed that match with a 48-45 home loss Jan. 29 against Vista; the Warriors entered the fourth quarter with a 37-33 lead and had a five-point advantage with two minutes remaining.

“We were literally two possessions away from being 3 and 2,” Bachman said of the first round of league play.

“We’re right there,” Bachman said. “We just couldn’t get it done.”

The Warriors had five wins in four seasons before their 12-13 finish for 2011-12, so Bachman noted that playing with a lead was experience the team will be able to use in the future. “I think it’s the next step for the program,” he said.

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