BURBANK — The Holy Family basketball team likely will not see any opponents the caliber of Brentwood when it takes part in Horizon League competition next season.
Despite losing some key players to graduation, the Eagles have plenty of talent left over from last season’s team that captured a CIF Southern Section Division IV-A championship.
The Gaels also lost some starting players from last year’s squad. However, the team received a fine addition in senior Liyah Lewis, a transfer from St. Monica.
A fine effort from Lewis was overshadowed, however, as Holy Family lost to Brentwood, 51-36, on Thursday in a Providence Summer League game.
“We are nowhere near the talent level of Brentwood; they are so much better than us,” Holy Family Coach Ernest Siy said. “They are a couple of playoff divisions above us and they just have a lot of very good players. We just don’t have the same horses that we do.
“But I told our team that we aren’t going to see anything close to that talent level in the Horizon League. So, we just have to take what we can from a game like this and hopefully that will ultimately make us better as a team.”
Lewis could very well be an impact player for the Gaels (3-2) next season. The transfer showed off a variety of moves against Brentwood; fighting for baskets in the paint as well as hitting her share of shots from the outside.
Lewis led all scorers with 19 points to go along with six rebounds and four steals.
“Liyah has really fit in well in our program,” Siy said. “And the other girls on the team have been very receptive of her. She has definitely got the skills. She was kind of hesitant when she first started with us about taking too many shots. But I told her if you got a good look go ahead and shoot it.”
Lewis said she is using summer to tune up her game and get acclimated with her Gaels teammates.
“I like to play a lot in summer and I just try and work on the things I have to so I can get better,” she said. “We have a better chemistry than I thought we would have, so that’s nice.”
Holy Family struggled in the opening 20-minute half against the Eagles, as the Gaels missed their first nine shots from the floor. That allowed Brentwood to jump out to a 12-0.
The Gaels were finally able to end the drought when Lewis sank a basket with 11:38 left.
Holy Family continued to struggle in the opening half, converting just four of 23 field-goal attempts (17.4%). The Gaels also committed nine turnovers (16 in the game).
Brentwood ended the first half with a 28-8 lead. Six of the Gaels’ eight points came from Lewis.
“I thought we came out a little scared and we didn’t play well early on,” Siy said. “But once we settled in I thought we played a lot better. I was happy with the way we played against a very good team.”
Holy Family played much better in the second half, as it converted two of its first four shots from the floor, as Lewis and Tabitha Ruiz (13 points with four three-pointers) both sank three-pointers.
The Gaels took control of the game in the second stanza, cutting the Brentwood lead to single digits, 33-24, with 11:42 left following a steal and layup by Lewis.
Holy Family could have cut into the advantage even further, but missed two free throws following Lewis’ basket. Brentwood pushed back, going on a 12-0 run and grabbing the momentum back with a 45-24 lead with 5:58 left.
Brentwood received 17 points from Dani Shapiro.
Follow Jeff Tully on Twitter: @jefftsports.