SRJC 75, Orange Coast College 80 in Overtime
In the Semifinals of the CCCAA State Championships, the North's 2nd seeded Bear Cubs (29-2) were pitted against the South's top seeded Pirates (30-1) of Orange Coast College. The Pirates jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Lucca Lowenberg drove from right to left to bank in the layup at the 7:21 mark. Meghan McIntyre scored her first two field goals over a minute apart. The Bear Cubs made their next three shots—Sheriene Arikat's drive, Lowenberg's 10-footer, and Ciarah Michalik's cut and left-handed layup off of Lanie Lincoln's assist—to close the gap to 8-12 with 3:31 on the clock. Annie Trinh sank a basket 23 seconds later, and Rose Nevin was successful on a drive with 1:27 left. McIntyre's drive 4 seconds before the period-ending buzzer sounded gave the Pirates a 16-10 lead.
Ashleigh Barr scored the first four points of the second quarter on a 12-footer off of a baseline inbounds pass from Ciarah Michalik and a turnaround 5-footer. The Pirates responded with 6 unanswered points on Trinh's 3-pointer, one free throw by McIntyre, and a basket by Karina Cabrera at the 7:01 mark. The Bear Cubs got two points closer on Lucca Lowenberg's drive. During the remaining six minutes of the period both teams tallied 10 points each. For the Bear Cubs Lanie Lincoln hustled after her 3-pointer miss and dropped in the putback from 5 feet out, Rose Nevin drove from left to right, Meredith Gilbertson drove from the right wing, Sheriene Arikat banked in a drive from 5 feet to the right of the hoop, and Lowenberg drove along the left baseline. By halftime the Bear Cubs were still behind by 6 points at 26-32.
Lucca Lowenberg took the first shot of the third quarter and swished the shot from beyond the arc. Meghan McIntyre maneuvered inside to score. Ashleigh Barr's 16-footer and Lucca Lowenberg's layup got the Bear Cubs to 33-34 two minutes into the period. Annie Trinh's 3-pointer was followed by Barr's 8-footer. Katrina Cabrera drained a 3-pointer at the 6:17 mark, and Lanie Lincoln swished hers 23 seconds later. McIntyre again scored on a drive, and Ciarah Michalik did the same. The Pirates added 4 points on one free throw by Cabrera and McIntyre's 3-pointer. The Bear Cubs responded with 5 points on Michalik's 15-foot pull-up jumper and Lowenberg's 3-pointer with 4:37 on the clock to get to 45-46. Sixty-six seconds later Trinh drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. Rose Nevin scored on a low post move. With 1:30 left, as an official was running past the Bear Cubs' bench, she overheard a (non-cussing) comment and immediately assessed the players sitting down with a technical foul, rather than issuing a warning as is the usual protocol. Trinh sank the two technical foul free throws. The Pirates inbounded the ball from the sideline, and McIntyre scored 26 seconds after that. Sheriene Arikat was successful on a drive with 40 seconds left to complete the scoring in the quarter with the Pirates holding onto a 52-49 lead.
Ashleigh Barr's 10-footer got the Bear Cubs within a point. Cabrera added the next four points on a field goal and a pair of free throws. On a baseline inbounds play Ciarah Michalik cut to the basket, caught Lanie Lincoln's pass, and banked in the uncontested layup. McIntyre scored inside again. Rose Nevin was fouled trying to get off a shot next to the basket. She stepped to the free throw line with 5:41 on the clock to attempt the Bear Cubs' first free throws of the contest—the Pirates had attempted 20 so far—and swished both free throws. Gabby Samiy tallied the next three points on a field goal and one of two free throws. The Bear Cubs answered with a 6-0 run on Ashleigh Barr's putback of her own miss, two free throws by Lincoln, and Barr's 5-footer off of Lincoln's assist to tie the score 61-61 at the 3:33 mark. Twenty seconds later, Samiy drained a 3-pointer. The Bear Cubs missed their next shot, but Ashleigh Barr, who was in rebounding position next to the hoop, jumped up and put back the ball without coming down to the ground first. The next time down Lucca Lowenberg poured in a shot from beyond the arc. With 1:47 on the clock, Ciarah Michalik was whistled for her fifth foul as she attempted to block Annie Trinh's 3-point shot. Trinh made all three free throws for a 67-66 lead. Lowenberg hit an 18-footer 20 seconds after that. Savannah Seiler's putback with 1:02 left put the Pirates back in front. Ashleigh Barr's 2-footer off of Sheriene Arikat's assist with 46 seconds to go gave the Bear Cubs a 70-69 lead. Nine seconds later McIntyre drew a foul. She made the first, tying the score, but missed the second. Barr pulled down the rebound. The Bear Cubs called a timeout and advanced the ball. They missed their shot, and the Pirates rebounded. The Pirates missed, and Alex Ditizio rebounded. The Bear Cubs called a time out and advanced the ball. Again their shot did not go in. The Pirates rebounded, called a timeout, and advanced the ball with 1.3 seconds remaining. They were unable to get a shot off, sending the contest into overtime with the score knotted at 70 apiece.
Gabby Samiy sank an outside shot at the 3:20 mark to begin the overtime scoring. Eighteen seconds later Sheriene Arikat drew a foul. She missed the first but made the second free throw. McIntyre was fouled within 12 seconds and made both free throws. The next time down, she sank a field goal for a 76-71 lead. Lucca Lowenberg scored on a drive with 1:22 on the clock. Karina Cabrera hit a long shot with 52 seconds left to widen their lead to 78-73. Lowenberg's drive with 46 seconds to go got the Bear Cubs within three points. The Pirates missed, Ashleigh Barr rebounded, the Bear Cubs called a timeout, and advanced the ball. Their long 3-point attempt bounced off the rim and the Pirates rebounded. They called a timeout and advanced the ball with 3 seconds to go. The Bear Cubs couldn't get a steal, so they had to foul. Annie Trinh made both free throws to seal the Pirates' 80-75 overtime victory.
The Bear Cubs outplayed their opponents but the calls by the officials seemed to favor the Pirates. The Pirates made 25 out of 66 shots (38%) while the Bear Cubs made 33 out of 69 (48%). The glaring difference was at the free throw line. The Pirates attempted 30 free throws, making 23 (76.7%) of them. The Bear Cubs only got to shoot 6 free throws and made 5 (83.3%). The Pirates were only whistled for 10 fouls—3 in the first quarter, 2 of which were offensive, 1 in the second, 0 in the third, 5 in the fourth, and 1 in overtime. The officials called 19 fouls on the Bear Cubs. Four of the five Pirates' starters, who all usually play the entire game, scored in double figures. Meghan McIntyre led with 25 points. Annie Trinh, who was 9 for 9 from the free throw line, totaled 17 points as did Karina Cabrera, and Gabby Samiy contributed 16 points.
Lucca Lowenberg scored her 25 points on drives, jump shots, and three 3-pointers. Ashleigh Barr registered her 15th double-double with 18 points and a season-high 18 rebounds. Ciarah Michalik, who was limited due to foul trouble, played a season-low 26 minutes and scored 8 points. Rose Nevin also added 8 points, Lanie Lincoln and Sheriene Arikat 7 each, and Meredith Gilbertson 2. Sheriene Arikat was second in rebounding with 7. Lanie Lincoln passed for 7 assists.
The Pirates faced Butte College, the North's top seed, in the State Championship game and won by a final score of 78-71.
The All-Tournament Team: Meghan McIntyre (Orange Coast), Annie Trinh (Orange Coast), Gabby Samiy (Orange Coast), Lucca Lowenberg (Santa Rosa), Meghan Weinrich (Butte), Sarah Tait (Butte).