COSTA MESA — Before the biggest game of the season so far, Vanessa Stafford and her teammates on the Estancia High girls' basketball team were calm.
She said Co-Coach Xavier Castellano told the Eagles not to believe the hype leading up to the first Battle for the Bell game, even if outright first place was on the line.
Castellano got his point across.
Stafford got more points than ever before.
She scored a career-high 10 as the Eagles won the big Orange Coast League game going away, 61-34, Tuesday night at Estancia High.
Estancia (15-6, 5-0 in league), trying to win its first league title in eight years, moves into the top spot by itself as the first round of league comes to a close. Costa Mesa (9-12, 4-1) drops to second.
"We knew what was on the line," Stafford said. "We were just trying to keep our cool and be humble about the situation."