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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Bear Cubs battle but fall short to top team Seirra

SRJC women's basketball bench excited

SRJC 56, Sierra College 68

             For the final game of the first round of Big 8 play, the Bear Cubs (7-13, 2-4) hosted the Wolverines (18-2, 5-1) of Sierra College, the top ranked team in the North. Sadie Irvine's 3-pointer got the Bear Cubs on the scoreboard first 73 seconds into the game. Five missed shots later, the Bear Cubs made four in a row, the initial two by Irvine, to take a 13-6 lead with 3:56 on the clock. The Wolverines' six points all came at the free throw line. They scored their first basket at the 3:25 mark and added another one on their next possession. Angel Bernardi's 3-pointer 18 seconds later put the Bear Cubs ahead 16-10. The Wolverines responded with their own 3-pointer. After La Donna Saint Louis made one free throw to get to 17-13, the Wolverines recorded the final two field goals of the quarter to tie the contest at 17.

            The Bear Cubs had the ball to start the second quarter and eventually Sadie Irvine made a pass through a crowded key to Jenny Eggers for the 1-footer. About a minute after that the Wolverines made their first basket—a 3-pointer. Irvine's free throw tied the score at 20 with 8:01 on the clock. The Wolverines sank 2 free throws, and then Hayley Louzao hit a 3-pointer for a 23-22 lead at the 7:22 mark. But the Bear Cubs missed all 10 of their final shot attempts, making only two out of four free throws, while the Wolverines made five more field goals as they ended the half with a 32-25 lead.

            The Wolverines scored on their first three possessions of the third quarter to widen their margin to 38-25. After committing turnovers and missing their opening shot, the Bear Cubs made five in a row: three by La Donna Saint Louis, Sadie Irvine's 3-pointer, and Zaina Depina's underhand toss over 6'7" Jaimie Curtis, to get to 36-44 with 5:06 on the clock. Irvine missed an outside shot, but Jenny Eggers grabbed the rebound and scored the putback. Two possessions later Irvine swished another 3-pointer to close the gap to 41-45. The Wolverines hit a field goal with 2:48 remaining, and then Madison Barsuglia drove around a screen and dropped one in from just over the free throw line. Tiffany Salinas' post spin move nearly a minute later got the Bear Cubs within two, 45-47, with 1:35 left. Irvine drew a shooting foul 20 seconds after that. She made the first free throw but not the next, which would have tied the score. Curtis tossed in a shot over defenders from right in front of the basket with 54 seconds to go, to extend their lead to 49-46 by the end of the quarter.

            The Bear Cubs began the fourth quarter with the ball, and Tiffany Salinas scored on a pick and roll play with Madison Barsuglia. Destinee Bowie, the Wolverines leading scorer, drew a shooting foul and made one free throw, then she sank a field goal two minutes later for a 52-48 lead. With 7:07 on the clock, Tiffany Salinas scored again to get to 50-52. But the Bear Cubs had trouble scoring, as they missed their next seven shots and committed several turnovers, making it possible for the Wolverines to increase their lead to 60-50 with 2:33 remaining. La Donna Saint Louis drew two consecutive fouls and made all four free throws to cut their deficit to 54-60 with 1:51 left. The Wolverines made their last field goal 21 seconds later. Saint Louis quickly scored on a fast break layup to make the score 56-62. In the final minute of the game, the Bear Cubs were unable to put any more points on the scoreboard and were forced to foul. The Wolverines made 6 out of 10 free throws to claim the 68-56 victory.

            Instead of getting blown out like their respective records might forebode, the Bear Cubs gave the Wolverines a tough battle and the game was much closed than indicated by the final score. The Bear Cubs shot well in the first (6 for 16) and third (9 for 17) quarters but struggled mightily in the second (2 for 15) and fourth (3 for 14). The Bear Cubs attempted 16 free throws and made 11 (69%). The Wolverines made 19 out of 28 (68%).

            At 6'7", Jaimie Curtis proved unstoppable once she caught a pass near the basket. She finished with a game-high 18 points. Destinee Bowie totaled 16 points.

            Sadie Irvine led the Bear Cubs with 17 points and 6 steals. La Donna Saint Louis totaled 13 points, including 7 for 8 from the free throw line. Jenny Eggers added 8 points, Tiffany Salinas 6, Angel Bernardi 4, Hayley Louzao 3, Zaina Depina and Madison Barsuglia 2 each, and Meme Nicolis 1. Jenny Eggers and Sadie Irvine each passed for 3 assists. Tiffany Salinas was the top rebounder with 6.