Granada Hills for four quarters pounded Taft into near submission Friday night on the road in Woodland Hills.
The Highlanders shut Taft out in the second quarter and Granada Hills rolled to an easy 55-15 West Valley League victory.
Granada Hills zone pressure and on ball defense suffocated Taft’s offense into forcing eight turnovers in the second quarter and on offense the Highlanders wore down the Toreadors with its ball movement.
Senior Emily Mitchell led the Highlanders with 15 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals.
“Our togetherness on both offense and defense really helps us,” Mitchell said. “We just try to communicate with what we are doing and its helps in our transition.”
Granada Hills (15-4, 2-0) who is ranked 21st in the state by MaxPreps showed tonight its aspirations can go much farther then winning the West Valley League title.
Junior Hayley Berfield scored 10 points with five steals and sophomore Hayley Aiden scored four points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Granada Hills had all nine of its active players score points. Highlanders senior sat out tonight’s game because of an ankle injury.
Coach Jared Honig said one of the things his team has lacked at times in the past was a presence in the post. With the six feet two inch Aiden in the paint, the court opens up more for his shooters Mitchell and Berfield.
“Our goal is to be an elite team and we are always trying to beat everybody and we have a good chance of reaching our goals for this season” Berfield said.
Taft (6-7, 0-2) lacked energy just two nights after playing a strong first half against El Camino Real on Wednesday. Mark Drucker the most was what he felt was his team’s “lack of effort” while being shut out in the second quarter.
“Granada Hills is such a smart team and they are so intelligent,” Drucker said. “Their IQ’s are better then any team in this league, but our lack of physical play was disappointing. We have to be physical especially against them.”
Granada Hills has its sights set on El Camino Real in what should be a battle for league supremacy on Jan. 24. The Conquistadors beat Harvard Westlake ranked second in the state by MaxPreps and have won four of its last five games.
“We know that every team is aiming at us and we have a big target on our backs,” Mitchell said. “Everyone wants to beat us. So our focus on just winning the game and dominating the other team just helps us focus.”