Women's Basketball: Bear Cubs finish season at #1 Sierra College

#13 Angel Bernardi dribbling down court against Sierra College

SRJC 48, Sierra College 85

             The Bear Cubs (9-18, 4-9) played their final Big 8 contest at First Place Sierra College (24-3, 11-2). The Wolverines are ranked #1 in Northern California. The Wolverines won the tip, but missed their opening shot attempt. The Bear Cubs got on the scoreboard first when Sadie Irvine passed to Ashley Hart, who swished a baseline shot from beyond the arc. The Bear Cubs missed their next shot, and then the next time down Zaina Depina drained a 3-pointer. The Wolverines drew a shooting foul and made one free throw, and then sank their first field goal the following possession. Beginning with Sadie Irvine's 3-pointer with 7:12 on the clock, the Bear Cubs made five out of six shots to race out to a 17-7 lead with 3:33 remaining. Jenny Eggers' short bank shot a minute later made the lead 19-10. The Wolverines scored the next six points on four free throws and a field goal. Destiny Grayer drew a shooting foul with 36 seconds left and made both free throws. A field goal by the Wolverines' post player at the buzzer reduced the Bear Cubs' lead to 21-18 at the end of the quarter.

            The Wolverines scored the first point of the second quarter on a free throw. Then their 6'7" post player made her only basket of the game to tie the score at the 8:36 mark. Hayley Louzao's fast break layup off a pass from Zaina Depina gave the Bear Cubs a 23-21 lead with 7:20 on the clock. The Wolverines took the lead with a 3-pointer and two field goals in the next 68 seconds. Jenny Eggers put in the Bear Cubs' final field goal of the quarter with 5:50 left to cut their deficit to 25-28. With 3:26 remaining Tiffany Salinas went to the free throw line where she made the first but missed the second. The Wolverines made two more field goals to stretch their lead to 32-26 by halftime.

            The Wolverines started the third quarter with a 13-0 run, as the Bear Cubs missed their first six shots. Angel Bernardi's field goal with 4:51 on the clock ended the scoreless streak. The Wolverines added a 3-pointer and a 2-pointer before Meme Nicolis sank a 10-footer with 3:10 left to make the score 30-50. The Wolverines scored seven unanswered points before Ashley Hart's 3-point play with 11 seconds remaining, as the period ended with the host team holding a 57-33 advantage.

            The Wolverines scored a field goal on their first possession of the fourth quarter. Nearly two minutes later Sadie Irvine sank a jumper. The Wolverines added two free throws, and then Zaina Depina drained a 3-pointer. The Wolverines hit a 12-footer. Zaina Depina's field goal at the 6:25 mark made the score 40-63. Hayley Louzao intercepted a pass and was fouled as she drove to the hoop. She made the first free throw but not the second. The Wolverines made three out of four free throws before Sadie Irvine hit a 10-footer with 5:08 left, which put the score at 43-66. The Wolverines added a pair of free throws, and with 4:41 on the clock Jenny Eggers drew a shooting foul and made both free throws for a score of 45-68. The Wolverines continued their hot shooting as they tallied 12 unanswered points for an 80-45 lead. Ashley Hart made the Bear Cubs' final field goal with 1:17 left. After the Wolverines sank a field goal, Zaina Depina drew a foul on a drive. She made the first free throw but missed the second. The Wolverines finished off the scoring with a 3-pointer with 24 seconds to go, as they claimed the Big 8 Championship with the 85-48 win.

            The Bear Cubs got off to a terrific start, shooting with confidence and sinking 7 out of 10 shots while making defensive stops, as the held a 17-7 lead after six and a half minutes of play. Unfortunately, they were not able to maintain the same level of intensity and consistency. They only made 11 more shots out of their next 51 (22%). At the free throw line they made 8 out of 19 (42%). The Wolverines made 25 out of 67 shots (37%) and 29 out of 36 (81%) from the free throw line. Jaimie Curtis, the Wolverines' 6'7" center, who scored 18 points in Santa Rosa, was held to just two points by the defensive efforts of the Bear Cubs' post players, particularly Jenny Eggers, and the guards who made it nearly impossible for passes to get to her.

            Sadie Irvine was the only Bear Cub in double figures with 11 points. Zaina Depina made two 3-pointers and totaled 9 points. Ashley Hart tallied 8 points, Jenny Eggers 6, and Hayley Louzao 5. Angel Bernardi, La Donna Saint Louis, Destiny Grayer, and Meme Nicolis all scored 2 points each. Tiffany Salinas made one free throw. Sadie Irvine was the top rebounder with 7. Hayley Louzao made 3 steals.