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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Bear Cubs get 1st Big 8 win in a big way

Bear Cubs playing defense

SRJC 73, Modesto Junior College 46

            The Bear Cubs (8-5, 0-1) finally returned to action after 23 days off, due to a slew of COVID-related postponements, to host the Pirates (13-2, 2-1) of Modesto Junior College. The Pirates suffered a heartbreaking 3-point loss two days ago at home against Sierra College. The Bear Cubs missed their first shot attempt of the game then made two in a row. The Pirates sank their first three shots to take a 7-4 lead after three minutes of play. Ciarah Michalik scored the next five points on a drive and a 3-pointer. The Pirates tallied their final point of the quarter on a free throw with 5:41 on the clock. The Bear Cubs proceeded to make eight out of ten shots, all but two from two feet or less, to take a 25-8 lead by the end of the period.

            Reina Sausedo, the Pirates leading scorer, sank a field goal 50 seconds into the second quarter. Ciarah Michalik and Trinity Hawkins then scored on consecutive drives to the hoop. Following a basket by the Pirates' Annie Winton, Hanna Morris dropped in a 5-footer off an assist from Tal Webb. Sausedo went to the free throw line with 6:41 on the clock and made both. Neither team scored again until Alex Ditizio swished a 3-pointer at the 3:19 mark. Winton made another field goal 28 seconds later. During the remainder of the period, the Bear Cubs made their final four shots—Ashleigh Barr's 8-footer, Kierra Johnson's 1-footer, Barr's 10-footer, and Ditizio's 3-pointer—while the Pirates only added Sausedo's two free throws, resulting in a 43-18 margin in favor of the hosts going into halftime.

            Trinity Hawkins started the scoring in the third quarter on a putback of her own miss. Winton hit a field goal on the Pirates' opening possession. Hawkins again put back an offensive rebound, but this time from 8 feet out. The next time down, Ciarah Michalik drew a shooting foul and made one free throw. Then Hawkins intercepted a pass near the middle of the Pirates' key, and drove it all the way to score the layup. The Pirates made a basket, and so did Michalik. After Ashleigh Barr made one free throw, the Pirates added five unanswered points on a 3-pointer and a field goal with 4:06 on the clock. The Bear Cubs scored the next four points on a pair of Michalik free throws and a Kierra Johnson putback with 3:02 left. The Pirates tallied four more points in the quarter, while the Bear Cubs added seven points on Lizeth Zavala's single free throw, Ashleigh Barr's fast break layup, Rose Nevin's four-foot turnaround shot, and Lizeth Zavala's drive, putting the Bear Cubs ahead 64-31 at the end of the quarter.

            Sixty-four seconds after the start of the fourth quarter, the Pirates put in the first field goal. Alex Ditizio scored the Bear Cubs' first points on a drive with 7:21 on the clock. After a basket by Sausedo, Ashleigh Barr passed to a cutting Kierra Johnson, who banked in the 1-footer. Winton drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. Over a minute later, Lizbeth Zavala went to the free throw line and made one. Trinity Hawkins pulled down a defensive rebound near the Pirates' basket and drove past everyone to make the layup with 4:19 left. Nearly two minutes later, Sausedo sank one free throw and followed it with a basket. With 1:23 remaining, Ditizio did as Hawkins had done by turning a defensive rebound into a full-court driving layup. The Pirates scored the final six points of the contest to make the score 73-46.

            The Pirates came into the game averaging over 73 points per game. The Bear Cubs, who seemed to play more intensely than the visitors on defense in the first two quarters, held them to just 18 points in the first half. The Bear Cubs, on the other hand, made 20 out of 27 shots (74%) in the first half, most of them from right near the basket. Second half scoring evened out as the Bear Cubs scored 30 points to the Pirates' 28. Reina Sausedo finished with 16 points and Annie Winton with 13.

            Trinity Hawkins, who made 9 out of 12 shots, led the Bear Cubs with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals. Ashleigh Barr scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, passed for a team-high 6 assists, made 3 steals, and blocked 3 shots. Ciarah Michalik and Alex Ditizio also scored in double figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Kierra Johnson added 8 points, Lizeth Zavala 3, Hanna Morris and Rose Nevin 2 each, and Lizbeth Zavala 1. Tal Webb only attempted one shot but passed for 3 assists.