SRJC 81, Napa Valley College 39
This past Wednesday, the 24-team Northern California Regional Playoffs began with the top 8 teams earning first round byes, while #9-24 played for the opportunity to travel to face one of them in the second round. #18 Napa Valley College (18-10) defeated #15 College of the Siskiyous (18-8) 92-80 after scoring 32 points in the just the first quarter. That earned the Storm a much shorter trip to take on the second-seeded Bear Cubs (27-2).
The Bear Cubs won the tip-off and within 9 seconds Lucca Lowenberg swished a 3-pointer. The Bear Cubs turned the ball over four times in a row before Ashleigh Barr grabbed an offensive rebound and scored the putback at the 6:50 mark. Twenty-eight seconds later on a baseline inbounds play, Ciarah Michalik lobbed a pass to Barr who sank the shot from the middle of the key. The next time down Michalik was fouled on a drive and made one free throw. Rose Jamison's field goal put the Storm on the scoreboard with 5:39 on the clock. Lucca Lowenberg's 3-pointer was followed by another basket by Jamison, making the Bear Cubs' lead 11-4. During the last five minutes of the period, the Storm only added four more points on four out of four free throws. Meanwhile the Bear Cubs scored 10 on Sheriene Arikat's 10-footer, Barr's 3-point play on a drive from the wing, Lowenberg's baseline drive, and her third 3-pointer to end the quarter in front 21-8.
The Bear Cubs' defense in the second quarter held the Storm scoreless until Mirah Jackson drew a shooting foul with 21 seconds remaining in the period. She made the first but missed the second. The Bear Cubs scored 19 points prior to that—Ciarah Michalik's 15-foot pull-up jumper, two free throws by Lucca Lowenberg, Sheriene Arikat's low post drive, Lowenberg's fast break layup off of Lanie Lincoln's long pass, Arikat's 6-foot turnaround shot, her 5-footer, Ashleigh Barr's 8-footer, Lowenberg's 3-pointer, and Rose Nevin's baseline drive. Taylor Iacopi swished a 3-pointer with two seconds left, increasing the Bear Cubs' halftime lead to 43-9.
Brooklyn Giles scored the first basket of the third quarter. Then Ashleigh Barr passed from the wing to a cutting Lanie Lincoln, who dropped in the runner from 6 feet in front of the hoop. Rose Jamison made a field goal with 8:18 on the clock. A little over a minute later the Bear Cubs began a 9-0 run comprised of Lincoln's 3-pointer, Barr's 2-footer off the assist from Lucca Lowenberg, Alex Ditizio's fast break layup at the end of Lincoln's long lead pass, and Sheriene Arikat's 1-footer off of Lincoln's assist. Giles broke the Storm's scoreless streak with a successful drive at the 4:22 mark. Lincoln answered with a 3-pointer. The Storm tallied the next six points before Ditizio hit a 17-footer. Lincoln's third 3-pointer of the period was followed by Giles' third 2-pointer. Rose Nevin scored the Bear Cubs' last basket on a 1-footer after cutting to the hoop and catching Barr's assist from the high post. Suraya Lloyd made two free throws with 5 seconds left to cap the scoring and put the Bear Cubs' lead at 64-25.
Lanie Lincoln took the first two shots of the fourth quarter and sank the 3-pointer and, in transition, her one-dribble to avoid a defender and one-handed toss from 7 feet out. The Storm scored the next four points on baskets by Mirah Jackson and Rose Jamison. After Meredith Gilbertson's putback, Suraya Lloyd drew a shooting foul and made one free throw. Sheriene Arikat hit a 15-footer, and Lloyd made a basket. Lucca Lowenberg put in a 12-footer, and Lloyd again made one out of two free throws. Arikat scored on a drive and Ciarah Michalik a putback with 3:55 on the clock. About a minute later, Daralonie Sykes made a field goal and then one free throw with 1:40 left. Rose Nevin banked in a 3-footer off of Ashleigh Barr's assist with 37 seconds to go. Nine seconds later Brooklyn Giles scored the last field goal of the contest. The Bear Cubs ran out the clock on their 81-39 victory.
The Storm came into the game averaging 71 points per game. The Bear Cubs' defense was able to stifle their opponent's offense in the first half. The Storm was able to mount a scoring charge in the second half, but couldn't overcome the deep hole the Bear Cubs put them into. Brooklyn Giles led the Storm with 9 points. Rose Jamison, who had been averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game, was held to 8 points.
Lucca Lowenberg led the Bear Cubs with 20 points, all but 2 coming in the first half. Lanie Lincoln scored 16 points, all in the second half. Sheriene Arikat contributed 14 points and 7 rebounds. Ashleigh Barr scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high 9 rebounds. Rose Nevin added 6 points, Ciarah Michalik 5, Alex Ditizio 4, Taylor Iacopi 3, and Meredith Gilbertson 2. Ciarah Michalik, Lanie Lincoln, and Meredith Gilbertson each pulled down 8 rebounds. Six of Gilbertson's were offensive. Lincoln led in assists with a season-high 8. Lowenberg made 4 steals, and Barr blocked 3 shots.