PALMDALE — When Palmdale girls basketball coach Timothy Brown took over two years ago, his goal was to rebuild a once storied program.
When former longtime Palmdale coach Bo Bynum took over the reins at The Palmdale Aerospace Academy this season his goal was to build a program from scratch.
The two met for the second time this season and it was the Falcons that flew away with a 56-15 victory over the Griffins, Friday evening at Palmdale High School.
“We’re continuing to work on being disciplined. We’re a young team, but I think we’re playing extremely well. We’re working on our fundamentals and we want to be effective in the half court,” Brown said. “I think we’re shooting 3s a little better. We want to be a better perimeter shooting team. When teams throw a zone defense at us we have to be able to knock down shots.”
TPAA (0-5) was held without a field goal for the first five minutes of the game. A 3-pointer by Stephanie Martinez late in the first quarter gave the Falcons an 11-3 lead. Palmdale extended the lead following a put-back bucket underneath the basket by Destiny Tariq.
The Griffins showed some resiliency and kept the game close, only trailing 18-9 following a basket by Eva Balanzar. The teams played even in the second quarter, each scoring eight points and the Falcons (6-8) led 21-11 at halftime.
The game was much closer than the one the two teams played in late November in which the Falcons were dominant with a 61-7 victory. Despite the loss, Bynum knows he has youth on his side and he wants to build the program.
“The girls are continuing to work hard and they are taking their time. They are definitely learning. Repetition, repetition, repetition,” said Bynum, whose team has 10 players, all underclassmen. “We hope to continue to progress and maybe pick up some victories. It may be a while. I thought our attitudes were good. They have started listening to what we’re teaching them. I think they have made tremendous strides since I took over.”
Palmdale began to pull away in the second half. It used a 6-0 run to open the third quarter to take a 27-11 lead. Once again the Griffins’ offense went stale as they were held without a field goal for the first five minutes, while the Falcons capped a 12-0 run. Kholanee Harris capped the third quarter by converting the conventional 3-point play and giving her team a 38-13 lead.
“We’re continuing to get better as we move on. We’re learning how to communicate better on the court. To be such a young team, I think our skills are up there,” said Tariq, who finished with a game-high 12 points. “Tonight we started a little slow, but we came out with more intensity in the second half. This was a good win for us. We’ve lost some really close games, but the second time around I think we can get them.”
TPAA had problems handling Palmdale’s pressure defense as it was forced into 27 turnovers, many of which turned into easy layups on the other end for the Falcons.
“As a team, we’re getting better. We have a new coach and he is taking his time to go over things with us. We have grown so much over the summer,” Balanzar said. “We have improved so much from where we started. Many of these girls started not knowing anything and they are learning.”
Balanzar led the Griffins with six points. Pearl Hill finished with 11 points for the Falcons and teammates Jayionne Hall and Harris added nine and eight points, respectively.
“I’ll take a ‘W’ any way it comes,” Brown said. “Hat’s off to Palmdale Aerospace, they played really hard.”