By the time 12 seconds had elapsed, Los Angeles Bishop Conaty-Loretto had made a steal, and the Wildcats' Kayleen Vasquez had made a layup for the first two points.
The tone for this one was already set.
Bishop Conaty-Loretto's starting unit proved adept at shooting, passing, rebounding, ball-handling and defense, and the Wildcats overwhelmed host Valley Christian Academy 66-19 in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 5A Playoffs at VCA Saturday night.
"I think their starting five is a very good team," VCA coach Randy Stanford said afterward.
"They did everything our scouting reports said they could do."
VCA finished 13-7. The Lions finished tied for second in the Coast Valley League.
The Wildcats (19-12) won the Horizon League championship. They were not seeded among the top three teams in the Division 5A playoffs, but they looked pretty formidable Saturday night as they amassed a 31-6 lead going into the second quarter.
Bishop Conaty-Loretto scored on its last first-quarter possessions. The fourth quarter was played with a running clock. Most of VCA's fans stood for the duration of the fourth quarter and applauded the Lions.
The Wildcats' unit of five consisted of strictly reserves in the fourth quarter, and neither team scored a basket then. Grace Cose and Heather Knutson each made a free throw for the Lions. Janneth Diaz made one for the Wildcats.
By the time the fourth quarter began, four of the Wildcats' starting five had finished in double figures.Vasquez led balanced Bishop Conaty-Loretto scoring with 17 points. Nataly Miguel and Amanda Diaz put in 15 points apiece, and Bridgette Vera scored 10.
Only three Lions scored. Grace Cose led VCA with 10 points. She also had a strong rebounding game. Point guard Mayley DeBernardi gave the Lions some strong defense.
The Bishop Conaty-Loretto press overwhelmed the Lions in the first quarter, and they struggled to get off shots. Cose finally gave them their first points when she made a basket at the 5:04 mark of the first quarter.
The Wildcats pressed some for a time afterward, but their backcourt pressure was not as intense as it was in the first quarter. By the 4:33 mark of the third, the Wildcats had called off the press altogether.
Bishop Conaty-Loretto began subbing liberally in the second quarter.
The Lions lose three seniors from their 2018-19 squad.
"I have a couple of freshmen, Lindsay Mikkelson and Jenna Mason, we can build around," said Stanford.
"Some other freshmen are going to have to step up."
CIF Central Section Division III Championships
Arroyo Grande earned the team title as the two-day meet at Santa Maria High School concluded. The Eagles' team total was not available at press time.
The Division III titlists had three weight class champions - Isaac Kephart at 134 pounds, A.J. Fragoso at 160 and Mason Garcia at 197.
Kephart hung on for an 8-7 win in his title match. Fragoso won the 160-pound title match 10-7 and Garcia took the 197-pound championship match 9-4.
Lower weights champions included Abraham Cerda of Fresno Hoover at 108 pounds; Roman Garcia of Visalia El Diamante at 115; Jimmy Macias of Delano Chavez at 122; Anthony Bartolome of Chavez at 128; Kephart at 134; Jose Flores of Porterville Monache at 140; and Zachary Wills of Bakersfield Centennial at 147.
Upper weights champions included Jake Prudek of Caruthers at 154 pounds; Fragoso at 160; Mark Cardwell of Monache at 170; Luciano Manzo of Chowchilla at 184; Garcia at 197; Caleb McDermott of Hoover at 222; and Emmanuel Castro of Bakersfield Garces at 287.
The Orcutt Academy girls basketball team's first-round Central Section Division III
home game against Delano Chavez has been moved up to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lakeview Junior High School.