SRJC 50, College of the Sequoias 41
In the Championship game of the 14th Annual City College of San Francisco Golden Gate Classic, the Bear Cubs (10-1), ranked #4 in the North, took on the Giants (14-1) of College of the Sequoias, the #2 team in the North. The Giants jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Ciarah Michalik got her team on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer at the 6:50 mark. The Giants scored five more points, and then Rose Nevin made a tough 4-footer over a taller defender with 4:04 on the clock. The Giants added a field goal, and then Lucca Lowenberg hit a 3-pointer to close to 8-12. Twenty-eight seconds later, the Giants tallied their final field goal of the period. For the Bear Cubs, Lowenberg drew a shooting foul and made both free throws, and then Michalik scored on a drive with eight seconds left, to make the deficit 12-14 by the end of the quarter.
The Giants made the first basket of the second quarter. Eighteen seconds later Rose Nevin hit a turnaround jumper. After a field goal by Alana Roberts, Nevin grabbed an offensive rebound and scored the putback to get to 16-18 after two minutes of play. Roberts made two more field goals, and with 4:04 on the clock, Ciarah Michalik drained a 3-pointer. With 14 seconds left Lucca Lowenberg put back an offensive rebound. Maria Dias scored on a baseline inbounds play at the buzzer to give her team a 24-21 halftime lead.
The Giants started the third quarter with a 10-0 run. The Bear Cubs scored their first point on Rose Nevin's one out of two free throws with 4:55 on the clock. Seventy-two seconds later Sheriene Arikat drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. About a minute after that she banked in a layup. Another minute passed before Alex Ditizio swished a 3-pointer to get to 29-34. With 41 seconds left Geizzle Jones made the Giants' last basket of the quarter. Arikat hit a pull-up 6-footer just before the buzzer to end the third quarter with the Bear Cubs behind 31-36.
In the fourth quarter, the Bear Cubs turned the tables on the Giants by beginning with a 9-0 run—one free throw by Ciarah Michalik, her 3-pointer, Sheriene Arikat's fast break layup, and Alex Ditizio's 3-pointer—during the first three minutes. Dias made one free throw at the 6:12 mark for the Giants' first point. Michalik was fouled on a drive and made both free throws 23 seconds later. Tiana Holland made a layup with 4:01 left. Michalik's successful drive with 3:03 on the clock put the Bear Cubs' lead at 44-39. Jones tallied the Giants' last two points on a field goal with 2:53 remaining. Lucca Lowenberg's 3-pointer on the Bear Cubs' next possession stretched the gap to 47-41. The Giants missed their shot attempts, so they were forced to foul. Michalik made two free throws and Lanie Lincoln one, resulting in a final score of 50-41.
Both teams played tough defense, as reflected by the poor shooting percentages and low score. The Giants, who came into the game averaging 76 points per game only made 18 out of 65 shots (28%). The Bear Cubs were worse, sinking 16 out of 64 shots (25%). The Bear Cubs made up the difference at the free throw line, as they were successful on 11 out of 18 (61%), while the Giants only shot two free throws and made just one of them. Geizzle Jones, who was selected All Tourney, led the Giants with 14 points. Camila Barreno finished with 10 points. Tiana Holland, who also made the All Tourney Team, was held to 4 points by the Bear Cubs.
Tournament MVP, Ciarah Michalik, led the Bear Cubs in scoring with 18 points. All Tourney selection Lucca Lowenberg totaled 10 points. Sheriene Arikat played hard and scappy at the post position against taller opponents and finished with 8 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Rose Nevin added 7 points and Alex Ditizio 6. Lanie Lincoln, who also made the All Tourney Team, handled the point guard duties well and scored 1 point. Ashleigh Barr didn't score but pulled down 11 rebounds. The Bear Cubs were only whistled for 8 fouls and turned the ball over just 9 times.
After finishing in Second Place four times, including last year, the Bear Cubs won this tournament for the first time in its 14-season history.