SRJC 56, Modesto Junior College 44
The Bear Cubs (15-9, 6-5) traveled to Modesto Junior College to take on the Pirates (19-4, 8-3) in a must-win situation for desirable play-off seeding. Annie Winton scored the first basket of the game after 62 seconds of play. Ciarah Michalik responded with a 3-pointer. Then Winton hit her only 3-pointer of the contest. Trinity Hawkins' two free throws tied the score. Reina Sausedo made a basket, and then Lizeth Zavala was successful on a drive across the key. The Pirates sank a field goal, and Tal Webb dropped in a putback. Hawkins' 4-footer was followed by Winton's basket. Kierra Johnson caught a pass inside, faked, spun around, and tossed in the shot for a 13-11 lead with 3:45 on the clock. Hannah Parsons swished a 3-pointer nearly a minute later. Trinity Hawkins sank a 2-footer on an assist from Tal Webb to put the Bear Cubs in front 15-14 by the end of the quarter.
Alex Ditizio took the Bear Cubs' first shot of the second quarter and sank the 4-footer. Annie Winton drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. Twenty-seven seconds later, Trinity Hawkins did the same. After nearly two scoreless minutes, Reina Sausedo was fouled on a shot and made just the second free throw. The Bear Cubs scored the next five points on Ciarah Michalik's pull-up jumper from the middle of the key and Hannah Webb's 3-pointer at the 2:58 mark. Eighteen seconds later, Hannah Parsons went to the free throw line and made one. One minute after that Tal Webb drained a 3-pointer. The next time down Trinity Hawkins drew another shooting foul and made both free throws. Grace Higgle launched a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, making their halftime deficit 21-29.
Reina Sausedo made the first 2-pointer two minutes into the third quarter. The Bear Cubs went on an 11-0 run, which consisted of a scoring drive plus a 3-point play by Ciarah Michalik, and two free throws along with two close shots by Trinity Hawkins. Beginning with Annie Winton's field goal at the 5:12 mark, the Pirates tallied five unanswered points. Trinity Hawkins' drive gave the Bear Cubs a 42-28 lead with 2:54 left. Grace Higgle scored one more field goal for the Pirates, as the period ended with the Bear Cubs holding a 42-30 advantage.
Reina Sausedo completed a 3-point play on the Pirates' first possession of the fourth quarter and sank a field goal their next time down to close the gap to 35-42. Tal Webb hit an 8-foot pull-up jumper at the 7:35 mark to begin an 8-0 run. Two minutes later Ashleigh Barr sank a 4-footer, Lizeth Zavala made two free throws, and Tal Webb swished a baseline 18-footer with 4:46 on the clock to widen the lead to 50-35. Natalie Brown broke the ice with a 3-pointer. Ciarah Michalik drove in and released the successful shot from four feet out. Brown scored a 2-pointer. Ashleigh Barr sank a 2-footer on an assist from Trinity Hawkins with 2:52 left. Thirty seconds later Madilynn Coelho put in the Pirates' final field goal. Ashleigh Barr's putback with 34 seconds remaining completed the Bear Cubs' scoring. Annie Winton tallied the last two points of the game on a pair of free throws with 27 seconds to go, as the Bear Cubs' hard work on defense paid off and resulted in a 56-44 win.
This was a hard-fought contest with both defenses making it difficult for shooters to score. The Pirates came into the game averaging over 72 points per game on nearly 40% shooting. The Bear Cubs' averages were 63 ppg and 40%. The Bear Cubs only made 10 out of 36 shots (28%) in the first half, including missing several from close range. In the second half, they made 11 out of 29 (38%). The Bear Cubs' man-to-man pressure defense caused the Pirates to only make 16 out of 57 shots (28%). Annie Winton led the Pirates with 13 points. Ciarah Michalik held the Pirates' leading scorer, Reina Sausedo, who came into the game averaging over 18 ppg, to 10 points, For the first time this season, the Bear Cubs made all of their free throws (11).
Trinity Hawkins, who made all 8 of her free throws, led the Bear Cubs with 18 points. Ciarah Michalik also scored in double figures with 12. Tal Webb, who had not played or practiced since suffering a gash on her forehead last Tuesday that required six stiches to close, contributed 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ashleigh Barr added 6 points, Lizeth Zavala 4, Hannah Webb 3, and Kierra Johnson and Alex Ditizio 2 each. Ashleigh Barr and Ciarah Michalik each grabbed 8 rebounds. Trinity Hawkins also passed for 3 assists.