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It is possible for a loss to be hidden inside a win.  The King High girls basketball team learned that reality on Wednesday night at home in their Big 8 League opener against Santiago-Corona. While the final score and especially the lopsided score at the half were decidedly in the Wolves’ favor, there were disconcerting elements of the Lady Wolves’ effort buried inside their eventual victory.

“[We] had a 25 to 6 lead on Santiago at the half” said head coach Jesus Martinez. But “Santiago came out strong in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 11 at one point.”

After the game, Martinez let his player know that regardless of the win, there were some serious issues to contend with.  “We  were very critical of the way the Lady Wolves began the second half” he said.

Senior captain Shae Johnson also stepped in and shared her opinion about the lack of energy at the beginning of the 2nd half, saying “we can’t relax and just assume that the game is won; we must play all 32 minutes.”

After a rough third quarter, the Lady Wolves regained the momentum they had lost earlier in the half and went a good run that put the game away early in the 4th quarter, winning 47-31.  Raya Smith was the leading scorer with 13 points.

The urgency with which the slack play was addressed is perhaps indicative of not just Johnson’s competitive posture, but also what is on the near horizon for the team.  On Friday night, the girls will travel and take on a very good and talented Norco squad.

King may be 12-4 going into that game, but against the Cougars, relaxing mid-game could spell defeat. Should the girls avoid that fate, the “loss” they endured in the win over Santiago will have been worth every one of those 32 minutes of play.