Linfield girls basketball came off a scrimmage victory over neighbor Temecula Valley last week and were anxious to open their season against Mesa Tuesday night. The Lions struggled out of the gate, scoring only six points to Mesa’s 12, with two baskets from senior Devyn Cope and one from junior Mykah Bisson in the first quarter.
Linfield’s scoring struggles weren’t over yet, with numerous missed shots in the second quarter, mostly from free-throws, as they trailed 15-22 going into the half.
Sophomore Keslyn Henson began the third quarter with a three pointer, followed by a block on defense leading to another three pointer to tie the game at 21-21. Much to the Lions’ dismay, the Rams would go on a 12 point scoring streak, but Linfield finished with the momentum as senior Sydney Moran hit a three followed by a basket from senior Payton Belle to bring the gap to six (27-33).
Mesa extended their lead back to nine off a three point shot, but Henson responded right back with a three pointer. Mesa would combine for back to back field goals, but the Lions wouldn’t go down without a fight as senior Mariah Pena scored the put back layup. Moran would steal the ball on the next play for a fast break layup to put Linfield within four (41-45), forcing a Mesa timeout. The Lions defense went to work for a Rams’ shot clock violation, followed by a layup from Henson at 43-45. Linfield’s final push ended here as they fouled Mesa who made 1 of 2 bonus free throws to make the final score 43-46.
Henson finished with 15 points overall, while Cope added 13 points and 7 rebounds.
The Lions will continue non-league action at West Valley on Friday, November 16th at 4:00 pm.